Folk Lore eBook

James Napier
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 158 pages of information about Folk Lore.
but the miller gave him a whack with his stick, and then ran again to his hiding-place.  The manakin gave a terrible yell, which brought from a hidden corner an old woman, crying, “Wha did it?  Wha did it?” The manakin answered, “It was Self did it.”  Whereat, slapping the manakin on the cheek, the old woman said, “If Self did it, Self must mend it again.”  After this, they both left the mill, which immediately stopped working.  The miller was never afterwards troubled in this way, and, at the same time, a goat which for generations had been observed at gloaming and on moonlight nights in the dell, and on the banks of the stream which drove the mill, disappeared, and was never seen again.

To meet a sow the first thing in the morning boded bad luck for the day.

If a male cat came into the house and shewed itself friendly to any one, it was a lucky omen for that person.

To meet a piebald horse was lucky.  If two such horses were met apart, the one after the other, and if then the person who met them were to spit three times, and express any reasonable wish, it would be granted within three days.

If a stray dog followed any person on the street, without having been enticed, it was lucky, and success was certain to attend the errand on which the person was engaged.

CHAPTER IX.

SUPERSTITIONS CONCERNING PLANTS.

Superstitions connected with plants were more numerous than those connected with animals.  We have already noticed widespread prevalence of tree worship in early times.  The Bible is full of evidence bearing upon this point, from the earliest period of Jewish history until the time of the captivity.  Even concerning those Kings of Judah and Israel who are recorded to have walked in the ways of their father David, it is frequently remarked of them that they did not remove or hew down the groves, but permitted them to remain a snare to the people.  In several instances the word translated grove cannot properly be applicable to a grove of trees, but must signify something much smaller, for it is in these instances described as being located in the temple.  It can therefore refer only to a tree or stump of a tree, or it may be only the symbol of a tree.  The story of the tree of good and evil, and the tree of life, has been the origin of many superstitious notions regarding trees.  The notion that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an apple tree, caused the apple to have a great many mystic meanings, and gave it a prominent place in many legends, and also brought it into prominence as a divining medium.  In many parts of Scotland the apple was believed to have great influence in love affairs.  If an apple seed were shot between the fingers it was understood that it would, by the direction of its flight, indicate the direction from which that person’s future partner in life would come.  If a couple took an apple

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Folk Lore from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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