Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Brace Yourself...

photo by ana traina ~ 2011 ~
For what I am about to tell you is just a wee bit curious and most certainly odd in the regard of Snail lore! The snail was believed to have powers to foretell the future and one unusual custom involved placing a snail in the fine white ash that dropped from the fire. Now, while the poor bugger made his way through the whitish soot, one would chant this verse...

I seized the vermin,
home I quickly sped,
And on the hearth the milk-white ambers spread.
 Slow crawled the snail, 
and if I right can spell, 
In the soft ashes,
marked a curious I...

You see, the shape of the trail it made was said to be the initial of a future lover's name!

Last bit of Odd and End... Girls wishing to dream of their future husband would pin five bay leaves to the four corners and center of their pillow before going to bed on St. Valentine's Eve. Then, wearing a freshly washed nightie, they would repeat the following rhyme before closing their eyes...

Good Valentine, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true love see.