Folk-Lore/Volume 30/Notes on Welsh Folklore

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Folk-Lore, Volume XXX (1919)
Notes on Welsh Folklore
by Jonathan Ceredig Davies

Notes on Welsh Folklore.

Omens. — If a woman making tea forgets to replace the cover of the teapot, it means that a stranger will visit the house. It is held very unlucky for a cow to bear twin calves; a farmer’s wife in Cardiganshire told me that she was trying to get rid of one of her cows which had twin calves.

When you see the first lamb of the season, if its head be towards you, the coming year will be lucky to you. If the first lamb of the season is male the farmer will have good luck: bad luck if it is a female.

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

Pigeons. — If a rich man asks for a pigeon-pie or a pigeon in any other form, it is a sign that his death is near.

Fairies. — Fairies are the souls of good Druids who died before the introduction of Christianity. They are not good enough for heaven, and not bad enough for hell.

A Wishing Cell. — At St. Govain in Pembrokeshire there is a “wishing cell” in the rock. It is said that any one who turns round inside wishing for the same thing all the time, will get it before the end of the year. The place is still visited by young people who are in love.

To cure the bite of a mad dog. — An old man who was brought up on the mountains of Cardiganshire informed me that when a dog was bitten by a mad dog it was customary to write on a piece of paper the following charm: arare, char are, phragnare, phragnare, cnare, arare, arare, cnarare, phragnare. This was put in a piece of bread and given to the dog to eat. This charm is said to have been received from the celebrated wizard, Dr. Harries of Cwrtycadno in Carmarthenshire, well known in Wales and on the English borders.

Llanilar, Cardiganshire.