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Welsh Folk Lore - Birds And Beasts.

Music And Bird Singing Heard Before Death
The writer, both in Denbighshire and Carnarvonshire, was to...

Birds And Beasts
Folk-lore respecting animals is common in Wales. It has been...

Birds Singing Before February
Should the feathered songsters sing before February it is a...

Birds Flocking In Early Autumn
When birds gather themselves together and form flocks in th...

Birds' Feathers
Feather beds should be made of domestic birds' feathers, su...

The Cock
Caesar, Bk. v., c.12, tells us that the Celtic nation did n...

Cock-fighting
Cock-fighting was once common in Wales, and it was said tha...

The Goose
Should a goose lay a soft egg, a small egg, or two eggs in ...

The Crow
The crow figures much in Welsh folk-lore. In many ways he ...

Crows' Feathers
In Montgomeryshire it was, at one time, supposed that if a ...

The Cuckoo Y Gog
The cuckoo is a sacred bird. It is safe from the gamekeepe...

A White Cock
A white cock was looked upon as an unlucky bird, thus:-- ...

Crane
The crane is often mistaken for the heron. When the crane ...

Ducks
When ducks sportively chase each other through the water, a...

Eagle
Persons who had eaten eagle's flesh had power to cure erysipe...

The Goat Sucker
A curious notion prevailed respecting this bird, arrived at...

Putting Hens To Sit
Placing the eggs in the nest for hens, geese, and ducks to ...

The Heron
The heron as it flies slowly towards the source of a river ...

The Jackdaw
This bird is considered sacred, because it frequents church...

The Magpie
The magpie was considered a bird of ill-omen. No one liked t...

The Owl
The hooting of an owl about a house was considered a sign o...

Peacock
The peacock's shrill note is a sign of rain. Its call is s...

Pigeon
If the sick asks for a pigeon pie, or the flesh of a pigeon...

The Raven
The raven has ever enjoyed a notoriously bad name as a bird...

Robin Redbreast
Ill luck is thought to follow the killer of dear Robin Redb...

The Sea Gull
It is believed that when sea gulls leave the sea for the mo...

The Swallow
The joy with which the first swallow is welcomed is almost ...

The Swan
The eggs of the swan are hatched by thunder and lightning. ...

The Swift
This bird's motions are looked upon as weather signs. Its ...

Tit Major Or Sawyer
The Rev. E. V. Owen, Vicar of Llwydiarth, Montgomeryshire, ...

The Wren
The Wren's life is sacred, excepting at one time of the yea...

The Wood Pigeon
The thrice repeated notes of five sounds, with an abrupt no...

The Magpie Teaching A Wood Pigeon How To Make A Nest
The wood pigeon makes an untidy nest, consisting of a few b...

Woodpecker
The woodpecker's screech was a sign of rain. This bird is ...

Ass
The stripe over the shoulders of the ass is said to have be...

The Bee
The little busy bee has been from times of old an object of...

Buying A Hive Of Bees
In the central parts of Denbighshire people suppose that a ...

Time Of Bee Swarming
The month in which bees swarm is considered of the greatest...

The Day Of Swarming
Sunday is the favourite day for bee swarming. Country peop...

Luck Comes With A Strange Swarm
It is considered very lucky indeed to find that a strange s...

It Is Considered Unlucky For Bees To Fly Away From Their Owner
As the coming of a strange swarm of bees is indicative of g...

Bees In A Roof
It was thought lucky when bees made their home in the roof,...

Informing Bees Of A Death In A Family
Formerly it was the custom to tell the bees of a death in t...

Putting Bees In Mourning
This is done after a death in a family, and the bees are pu...

Stolen Bees
It was believed that stolen bees would not make honey, and ...

A Swarm Entering A House
Should a swarm enter a house, it was considered unlucky, an...

Cat
The cat was thought to be a capital weather glass. If she ...

Cows
Cows Kneeling on Christmas Morn. In the upland parishe...

Crickets
It is lucky to have crickets in a house, and to kill one is...

Hare
Caesar, bk. v., ch. xii., states that the Celts do not rega...

Haddock
The haddock has a dark spot on each side its gills, and sup...

Hedgehog
It was believed that hedgehogs sucked cows, and so firmly w...

Horse
A white horse figures in the superstition of school childre...

Lady-bird
This pretty spotted little beetle was used formerly in the ...

Mice
A mouse nibbling clothes was a sign of disaster, if not dea...

Moles
Moles are said to have no eyes. If mole hills move there w...

Pigs
Pigs used to be credited with the power of seeing the wind....

The Snake Serpent
The snake was supposed to be able to understand what men sa...

Flying Serpents
The traditional origin of these imaginary creatures was tha...

Snake Rings Or Glain Nadroedd
Mention is made in Camden of snake rings. Omitting certain...

Sheep
It was thought that the devil could assume any animal's for...

Spider
The long-legged spider, or, as it is generally called in Wa...

The Squirrel
Hunting this sprightly little animal became at Christmas th...

The Blind Worm Or Slow Worm
This reptile is a snake, varying from twelve to eighteen in...



Hare






Category: BIRDS AND BEASTS.

Caesar, bk. v., ch. xii., states that the Celts do not regard it
lawful to eat the hare, the cock, and the goose; they, however, breed
them for amusement and pleasure. This gives a respectable age to the
superstitions respecting these animals.

Mention has already been made of witches turning themselves into hares.
This superstition was common in all parts of North Wales. The Rev. Lewis
Williams, rector of Prion, near Denbigh, told me the following tales of
this belief:--A witch that troubled a farmer in the shape of a hare, was
shot by him. She then transformed herself into her natural form, but
ever afterwards retained the marks of the shot in her nose.

Another tale which the same gentleman told me was the following:--A
farmer was troubled by a hare that greatly annoyed him, and seemed to
make sport of him. He suspected it was no hare, but a witch, so he
determined to rid himself of her repeated visits. One day, spying his
opportunity, he fired at her. She made a terrible noise, and jumped
about in a frightful manner, and then lay as if dead. The man went up to
her, but instead of a dead hare, he saw something on the ground as big as
a donkey. He dug a hole, and buried the thing, and was never afterwards
troubled by hare or witch.

In Llanerfyl parish there is a story of a cottager who had only one cow,
but she took to Llanfair market more butter than the biggest farmer in
the parish. She was suspected of being a witch, and was watched. At
last the watcher saw a hare with a tin-milk-can hanging from its neck,
and it was moving among the cows, milking them into her tin-can. The man
shot it, and it made for the abode of the suspected witch. When he
entered, he found her on the bed bleeding.

It was supposed that there was something uncanny about hares. Rowland
Williams, Parish Clerk, Efenechtyd, an aged man, related to me the
following tale, and he gave the name of the party concerned, but I took
no note of the name, and I have forgotten it:--A man on his way one
Sunday to Efenechtyd Church saw a hare on its form. He turned back for
his gun, and fired at the hare. The following Sunday he saw again a hare
on the very same spot, and it lifted its head and actually stared at him.
The man was frightened and went to church; the third Sunday he again saw
a hare on the very same form, and this hare also boldly looked at him.
This third appearance thoroughly convinced the man that there was
something wrong somewhere, and he afterwards avoided that particular
place.

The pretty legend of Melangell, called Monacella, the patroness of hares,
is well known. One day the Prince of Powis chased a hare, which took
refuge under the robe of the virgin Melangell, who was engaged in deep
devotion. The hare boldly faced the hounds, and the dogs retired to a
distance howling, and they could not be induced to seize their prey. The
Prince gave to God and Melangell a piece of land to be henceforth a
sanctuary. The legend of the hare and the saint is represented in carved
wood on the gallery in the church of Pennant. Formerly it belonged to
the screen. Hares were once called in the parish of Pennant Melangell
Wyn Melangell, or St. Monacella's lambs. Until the last century no one
in the parish would kill a hare, and it was believed that if anyone cried
out when a hare was being pursued, God and St. Monacella be with thee,
it would escape.





Next: Haddock

Previous: Crickets



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