Trust not the man whose eyebrows meet
For in his heart you’ll find deceit,
But separate arcs mean trustworthy geezers
Or denote a man with a pair of tweezers.

And if by chance a maiden’s beset
By overwhelming amounts of debt
It’s lucky for a bride to wear no knickers.
It pleases grooms – though it upsets vicars.

Drop a glove and then retrieve it
That’s unlucky (some believe it)
But if perchance you see a pin
Then pick it up – and luck floods in!

And if in so doing your finger you prick,
Quick as a flash then give it a lick
For that stops vampires, demons and devils
From sucking your soul in their midnight revels.

And if your palms begin to itch
Sure as eggs is eggs you’ll soon be rich.
But if you eat eggs then guard the shells
For witches use them to cast their spells.

Stir a pot clockwise; never the reverse!
You’ll end up in jail or something worse.
The bigger the nose upon a man’s face
The bigger his bits in a private place.

They’ll tell you that, these big-nosed guys
But if it’s not true don’t be surprised.
For whoever invented that old wives’ tale
Was probably a tiny-cocked, big-nosed male.

Don’t put on your left shoe ‘til you’ve put on the right.
Don’t eat cheese last thing at night.
Pluck a hair from your head that you’ve spotted gone grey;
There’ll be ten more there by the very next day.

If you break a mirror, for seven years
Your life will be filled with nothing but tears.
Put shoes on the table with a clattering bang
And someone you know will definitely hang.

So no-one’s been hanged since ‘64
But still put your shoes down on the floor!
Do you want to cause me days of worry?
It’s better to be safe than sorry!

If from the same pot two women pour
Then one will get pregnant, that’s for sure!
Then don’t pass another upon the stair
Or you’ll have twins with ginger hair.

Ne’er cast a clout ‘til May be out
Who’s got a clue what that’s about?!
What’s a clout and how do you cast it?
I’m probably safe: I’m probably past it!

There’s an old wives’ tale for every event:
Christmas, New Year, Easter, Lent,
Birthdays, Saints Days, Halloween too.
Things you should and shouldn’t do.

A catalogue of tales that threaten you ill
(There’s few that promise you good)
But I don’t believe in all that rubbish
And I never will! . . .
Touch wood!

old wives' tales

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