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My Other Garden – The Brindled Cow

While out cycling today I came upon a grounded cow. It was either dead or very close to it. Coincidentally, a cycling friend who is very interested in Irish folklore brought my attention to The Riabhach Days. Here’s an account written by a young schoolboy from County Mayo:

The three last days of March are called The Riabhach Days. Those three days are the coldest days in the year. Once there was an old cow and when April came she thought she did not need to stay in at night so she stayed out at night. April borrowed three days from March and those days came very bad and at the end of the three days the cow was dead.

There are versions of this story throughout England and Scotland. Indeed there’s a Spanish version too…

A shepherd promised March a lamb if he would temper the winds to suit the shepherd’s flocks. After his request was granted, the shepherd refused to deliver the payment. In revenge, March borrowed three days from April, in which fiercer winds than ever blew to punish the deceiver.

Irish Independent

Today was much colder than previous days and it seems that northerly air is set to dominate our weather as we move in to April. I must close the glasshouse.

Reference in Wikipedia: In the Irish Calendar The Old Cows Days/The Days of the Brindled Cow are the last days of March and the first three days of April; in Irish: Laethanta na Bó Riabhaí.


Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

9 thoughts on “My Other Garden – The Brindled Cow”

  1. How interesting, I come from farming stock, but I haven’t heard this before. I was discussing with my brother-in-law, only yesterday, when he would need help to put the cows out to grass. He thought another couple of weeks. The cows were certainly high-tailing and leaping in anticipation of release when we opened the gate, but it was just for a veterinary visit yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s certainly perishing here this morning, bitterly cold with a biting breeze. Not a cow in sight, brindled nor otherwise, not even a mad cyclist.

    Liked by 1 person

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