Another Story of the Goose, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Selattyn Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: Another Story of the Goose


Mr. Samuel Williams, Fron, Selattyn, gave me the following version of the goose ditty:—|On Candlemas Day|Every good goose begins to lay|Another rendering is:—|Every good goose ought to lay| On Candlemas Day||Candlemas Day is February 2nd|Geese should sit so as to hatch their young when the moon waxes and not when it wanes, for, otherwise, the goslings would not thrive. The lucky one in the family should place the eggs for hatching under the goose or hen.The goose is thought to be a silly bird and hence the expression, ‘You silly goose,’ or ‘You stupid goose,’ as applied to a person.  The falling snow is believed to be the effect of celestial goose-feathering, and the patron of geese—St. Michael—is supposed to be then feathering his protegés.  The first goose brought to table is called a Michaelmas goose; a large annual fair at Llanrhaiadr-ym-Mochnant is called ‘Ffair y Cwarter Gwydd,’ the quarter goose fair. | Seven geese on grass land are supposed to eat as much grass as will keep a cow.  Permanent grass land is called ‘Tir Gwydd,’ goose land. | A bed of goose feathers is required to complete a well-furnished house.  The fat of geese, called ‘goose-oil,’ is a recipe for many ailments. | A small bone in the head of a goose, called the ‘goose’s tooth,’ is carried in the pocket for luck and is a sure preventative against toothache.|Much of the above paragraph is common to most parts of Wales, but the writer used to be told, when he was a lad, that the snow was caused by “the old woman feathering her geese,” and a Michaelmas goose was called a green goose, as well as a “Michaelmas goose.”


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