School: Bullach

Castlerea, Co. Roscommon
Máire Ní Fhlannagáin

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Superstitions about Birds

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0244, Page 025

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There are many superstitions about magpies. When a person sees one magpie it is a sign of sorrow while two are supposed to be a sign of joy.
The wren is the king of birds and in olden times it was hunted and persecuted on St Stephens day by wren boys as it is said that he showed the way our Lord took from the garden of Gethsemani to the soldiers who were looking for him. When seagulls fly inland a storm on sea is supposed to occur.
There are many superstitions about hens. When a hen crows it is a sign of bad luck as the old people say. "A whistling woman and a crowing hen, wakens the devil in his den." If two hens are seen fighting it is a sign of a visitor and if a straw is hanging from a hen's tail a funeral is expected. I a cock crows during the night time it foretells the death of a relative of the person to whom the cock belongs, while if he comes to the door

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Josie Gurren
Brackloon, Co. Roscommon