“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not the bad luck of the early worm.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Today is the first of only two Friday the 13ths this year. The date is thought to be an unlucky day. This association stems from the belief that 13 is an unlucky number. As a result, many buildings do not have a 13th floor, dinner parties do not consist of 13 guests and some people will not get married on this date. We decided to celebrate this day by connecting it to some of the animals from Inverdoorn and their link with luck.
The bat is a good luck symbol, because it symbolises a long and happy life. These sleepy, little creatures are occasionally glimpsed at Inverdoorn.
If a bee buzzes into your home it is a sign that you will have a visitor. If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck or the visitor will be unpleasant. As spring arrives at Inverdoorn, so do the bees and all the guests as our busy season begins. Perhaps there is some credence to this myth after all.
Different bird calls have different meanings. A call from the north signals tragedy; from the south, good crops; from the west, good luck and from the east, good love.
You will have good luck all year, if the first butterfly you see in the year is white. 2013 is almost over, but the best months may be yet to come, so keep your eyes peeled for the flutter of white wings.
A common superstition is that a black cat crossing your path means bad luck; therefore you can imagine that the double whammy of a black cat crossing your path on Friday the 13th can only portend doom. Luckily the cats at Inverdoorn have a beautiful variety of coats in different colours and everyone is more than happy to let Velvet and Iziba, the tame cheetahs, cross their path.
Crickets are lucky house spirits. When they leave, they take their luck with them.
Catching a dragonfly means you will be married within the year – whether this is good or back luck is a matter of opinion.
Who can forget the big, beautiful elephants? With their excellent memories they certainly won’t forget you! Elephants symbolise a range of positive attributes. In addition to dignity, patience and wisdom, they are also a symbol of good luck. An elephant is considered especially lucky when its trunk is pointed up. If you’re feeling a little blue, a trip to Inverdoorn to visit Bully and Nduna will lift your mood and perhaps turn your luck.
Be grateful for modern medicine, because otherwise you might have to resort to the help of frogs and toads. In the past, these critters were believed to be lucky due to their purported healing properties. If you were suffering from thrush, the solution to this malady involved sticking a live frog’s head into your mouth. And of course there is the old myth that rubbing a frog across your warts will make them disappear.
These sweet, pretty insects are meant to bring good luck, especially when they land on you! Should you be so lucky, you must let it fly away and not brush it off.
Spiders are symbols of good luck and the bigger the spider the better the luck. Killing a spider could thus mean bad luck. However, there is an old French saying that says you should kill a spider if it shows itself in the morning, but not in the afternoon or at night:
Araignée du matin – chagrin
Araignée du midi – plaisir
Araignée du soir – espoir
(A spider seen in the morning is a sign of grief; a spider seen at noon, of joy; a spider seen in the evening, of hope).
Whether or not you believe these superstitions and myths, the message is clear: respect animal life or bad luck may come your way.
Happy Friday the 13th!
Originally published on Inverdoorn Game Reserve.