March: lion and lamb

In like a lion, out like a lamb. I would bet you have heard that saying about March before.

It always sounded to me like a bit of an omen, I hope with a happy ending. In today’s world, I am all about a happy ending. But what does it mean, and why are we talking about lions and lambs in the same sentence?

Spring is full of baby animals and new blossoms. I remember hearing about the lions and lambs when I was a kid, but I was much more enchanted by the lambs in my mom’s singing of Mairzy Doats.

Does anyone else remember that one? (I am so thankful she knew the translated version.)

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

If the words sound queer
And funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing “Mares eat oats
And does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy;
A kid will eat ivy too - wouldn’t you?

I have never eaten ivy. There wasn’t any growing in Calgary where I grew up. I did eat clover a few times; it is quite tasty. (Another example illustrating that I was always destined to be a foodie.)

The lion and lamb saying speaks to the craziness of spring in a different way than the song. New life brings unpredictable situations, and in the spring season that includes weather. I always wondered though, why use those two animals to convey the idea of a ferocious start and a gentle end to the month?

Apparently, next to “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning,” it is the most recited weather-related saying in English. And it also relates to the sky, or at least the stars in the sky.

"(The constellation) Leo rises in the east at the same time that Aries sets in the west. While this happens throughout the year at varying times, it’s most visible at night in early March. If the sky was clear on March 1 and Leo was spotted overhead, the lion ushered in the month and it would end on a quiet note. Conversely, if clouds covered the night sky on the first of March, the lion would roar at the end of the month and the weather would be stormy."Cindy Davis, chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network

Could it be coincidence that March is a month many people take on a cleanse of some sort? Maybe the philosophy of transitioning from the harshness of winter to the tentative warmth of spring is more pervasive than just the outside temperatures.

Many of us search for opportunities to find bright spots and “warm fuzzies” to invigorate our souls.

My cup is overflowing with “warm fuzzies” right now – we have a new puppy in the house. First thing in the morning, she is more like a lion than a lamb, running amuck through the house with the energy of a new day. By evening, she is a snuggly lamb too cute for words. My hubby and I are feeling grateful to have a bundle of new love in our midst.

Bright spots at Rabbit Hollow include the first green shoots popping through the ground and on the lilac and pussywillow bushes; also, my time spent flipping through seed catalogues for the planning of the herb, veggie, and edible flower gardens.

Of course, fresh ingredients won’t be at the markets quite yet — even asparagus is a month away from being harvested. But a sprinkling of cilantro or parsley adds a bright note to a curry or stew, and salad for dinner isn’t something that requires a warm side dish now to make me feel sated.

We can take heart, if the saying proves true for this year: March 1st did offer clear skies with the waning full moon. That means we should have a quiet end to March as spring begins and we celebrate Easter.

I might be cheery enough to sing out verses of Mairzy Doats. Feel free to join in if you like.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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