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The Cock






Category: BIRDS AND BEASTS.

Source: Welsh Folk-lore

Caesar, Bk. v., c.12, tells us that the Celtic nation did not regard it
lawful to eat the cock.

It was thought that the devil assumed occasionally the form of a cock.
It is said that at Llanfor, near Bala, the evil spirit was driven out of
the church in the form of a cock, and laid in the river Dee.

Formerly the cock was offered to the water god. And at certain Holy
Wells in Wales, such as that in the parish of Llandegla, it was customary
to offer to St. Tecla a cock for a male patient, and a hen for a female.
A like custom prevailed at St. Deifer's Well, Bodfari. Classical readers
may remember that Socrates, before his death, desired his friend Crito to
offer a cock to AEsculapius. Crito, said he, and these were his last
words, we owe a cock to AEsculapius, discharge that debt for me, and
pray do not forget it; soon after which he breathed his last.

In our days, the above-mentioned superstitions do not prevail, but the
cock has not been resigned entirely to the cook. By some means or other,
it still retains the power of announcing the visit of a friend; at least,
so says the mountain farmer's wife.

The good-wife in North Wales, when the cock comes to the door-sill and
there crows many times in succession, tells her children that Some one
is coming to visit us, I wonder who it is. Before nightfall a friend
drops in, and he is informed that he was expected, that the cock had
crowed time after time by the door, and that it was no good sending him
away, for he would come back and crow and crow, and now, adds she, you
have come. Is it not strange, says the good woman, that he never
makes a mistake, and then follows a word of praise for chanticleer,
which the stranger endorses.

However much the hospitable liked to hear their cock crow in the day
time, he was not to crow at night. But it was formerly believed that at
the crowing of the cock, fairies, spirits, ghosts, and goblins rushed to
their dread abodes. Puck was to meet the Fairy King, ere the first cock
crow.





Next: Cock-fighting

Previous: Birds' Feathers



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