: BIRDS AND BEASTS.
: Welsh Folk-lore
Should a goose lay a soft egg, a small egg, or two eggs in a day, it is a
sign of misfortune to the owner of that goose.
An old woman in Llandrinio parish, Montgomeryshire, who lived in a
cottage by the side of the Severn, and who possessed a breed of geese
that laid eggs and hatched twice a year, when I asked her the time that
geese should begin to lay, said:--
Before St. Valentine's Da
Every good goose will lay.
and she added:--
By St. Chad,
Every good goose, and bad.
St. Chad's Day is March the 2nd.
Mr. Samuel Williams, Fron, Selattyn, gave me the following version of the
On Candlemas Day,
Every good goose begins to lay.
Another rendering is:--
Every good goose ought to lay
On Candlemas Day.
Candlemas Day is February 2nd.
Geese should sit so as to hatch their young when the moon waxes and not
when it wanes, for, otherwise, the goslings would not thrive. The lucky
one in the family should place the eggs for hatching under the goose or
For the following paragraph I am indebted to Ffraid, a writer in
Bye-Gones, vol. i., p. 88:--
The goose is thought to be a silly bird, and hence the expression, 'You
silly goose,' or 'You stupid goose,' as applied to a person. The falling
snow is believed to be the effect of celestial goose-feathering, and the
patron of geese--St. Michael--is supposed to be then feathering his
proteges. The first goose brought to table is called a Michaelmas goose;
a large annual fair at Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant is called 'Ffair y cwarter
Gwydd,' the quarter goose fair. Seven geese on grass land are supposed
to eat as much grass as will keep a cow. Permanent grass land is called
'Tir Gwydd,' goose land. A bed of goose feathers is required to complete
a well-furnished house. The fat of geese, called 'goose-oil,' is a
recipe for many ailments. A small bone in the head of a goose, called
the 'goose's tooth,' is carried in the pocket for luck, and is a sure
preventative against toothache.
Much of the above paragraph is common to most parts of Wales, but the
writer used to be told, when he was a lad, that the snow was caused by
the old woman feathering her geese, and a Michaelmas goose was called a
green goose, as well as a Michaelmas goose.