Welcome to my Friday the Thirteenth blog. Some are, of course, unhappy with the day/date combination believing it to bring bad luck. Not so my late father-in-law who was born on a Friday the thirteenth and, throughout a long and generally very happy life, maintained nothing could be luckier. Odd thing, superstition.
Here, in England, some of the oldest superstitions and myths involve three trees: the oak, the ash and the thorn (the latter being, almost certainly, the Hawthorn). Those who were brought up in Puck of Pooks Hill by Rudyard Kipling will, I am sure, remember that the children were magicked into forgetting their encounters with Puck and his friends thanks to this simple act:
He (Puck) gave them each three leaves – one of Oak, one of Ash, and one of Thorn. ‘Bite these,’ said he. ‘Otherwise you might be talking at home of what you’ve seen and heard, and – if I know human beings – they’d send for the doctor. Bite!’
Then there is a rhyme which runs:
Oak before ash,
In for a splash.
Ash before oak,
In for a soak.
This goes back a long way and older versions are more elaborate: