The Goose


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

above ditty:--

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.