Volume VI, No. 4, Summer 1979
I'm sure you've heard that black cats are said to bring bad luck. However, some folks may disagree--especially those who make use of them at hog butchering time. We were told that eating a black cat, boiled to death in the water used to scald the hog, will improve nocturnal vision. Many similar beliefs pertain to improving or guarding one's health at any age, or even before birth.
Eating strawberries excessively when pregnant will cause the child to be born with a strawberry birthmark.
If the mother-to-be reaches too high, the umbilical cord will wrap around the unborn baby's neck and suffocate it.
A cat, if allowed near a baby, will suck the child's breath away.
Wearing green to a christening brings bad luck to the baptized child.
To cure an asthmatic child, measure his height against a tree, bore a hole in the tree at that height, and place a lock of his hair into the hole. When the child grows past the hole, he will have no more asthma.
Nine sips of water will cure hiccups if taken slowly.
To prevent or cure arthritis, wear a copper bracelet or chain.
Carrying a buckeye in a pocket will also help rid the body of arthritis.
Some beliefs had no obvious origin. Many probably came about as answers for the common happenings that people could not understand or explain.
If your right eye jumps, you are going to cry.
If your left eye jumps, you are going to laugh.
If your nose itches, you are going to have company.
If your right hand itches, you are going to shake someone's hand.
If your left hand itches, you are going to receive money.
If your feet itch, you are going to walk on strange ground.
Dropping a spoon means a child will soon visit.
Dropping a fork means a woman will soon visit.
Dropping a knife means a man will soon visit.
The number of white spots on a Person's fingernails will indicate the number of lies he has told that week.
A person whose second toe is longer than their big toe is the boss of their family.
Just as folks had a meaning for these occurrences, they also had beliefs about forecasting the weather.
If a rooster crows after he goes to bed, he'll wake in the morn with a wet head.
Chimney smoke that blows toward the ground indicates rain.
If it rains, snows, sleets, or hails while the sun is shining, the weather will repeat itself at the same time the next day.
If it thunders in February, it will frost in May.
The day of the month on which it first snows determines the number of snows that will fall that winter.
When fire coals spark, it will soon snow.
A cat sitting with its tail toward the fire is a sign that a rough winter is sure to follow.
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.