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    Pet & Animal Superstitions
    Page 8


  • Rabbits
    Since rabbits and hares are born with eyes open they supposedly had special powers over the evil eye.

    It is believed to be unlucky to meet either a hare or a rabbit, one variant stating that a rabbit which crosses one's path in front is a good omen and one which crosses behind is a bad one. In some places it is considered unwise to shoot a black rabbit, as it may be an ancestral spirit returning in rabbit-form.

    An old custom is to say 'Rabbits' or 'White Rabbits' either once or three times on the first day of the month, as a good luck charm; it must be the first word said that morning, otherwise the charm is not potent.

  • Rabbit's Foot
    Because of the rabbit's ability to reproduce, the rabbit's foot also became a symbol of fertility. Rabbit's feet are also symbols of new life because of their prolificacy.

    A left rabbit hind foot, carried in the left pocket after having been removed from a rabbit that was killed during a full moon by a cross-eyed person is truly lucky.

  • Ravens
    To kill a raven is to harm the spirit of King Arthur who visits the world in the form of a raven.

  • Robins
    A wish made on the first robin of spring will be granted.

  • Roosters
    Roosters have long been connected with the sun, as they crow to herald its arrival at dawn, and are considered watchful protectors of humankind. When a cock crows at midnight a spirit is passing; in England it is a death omen if one crows three times between sunset and midnight. Crowing at other times is often a warning against misfortune. If a cock crows while perched on a gate, or at nightfall, the next day will be rainy. A white rooster is considered very lucky, and should not be killed as it protects the farm on which it lives; black cocks, however, were more ill-omened, being often associated with sacrifice.

    Pet & Animal Superstitions Page 9


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