It is at this time of year that you can expect to hear the first cuckoo and
if you are walking at the time it is considered to be lucky.
Not so lucky to hear it while lying in bed as this means that you or
someone in your family will die that year.
If you have no money in your pocket when she calls or if you fail to
turn over all the coins you have, you will be poor all year.
On hearing the cuckoo sit down and immediately take off your
left shoe you will find in it a hair of exactly the same colour as that of
your true love.
If you wish to know how many years of life you have left then count
how many times it calls, each call equates to one year of life.
On hearing its first call run three times in a circle, giving good luck for
the rest of the year. It is also encouraged that you run to the nearest gate
and sit on the top rail as this will drive away the spirit of laziness.
On Dartmoor along the River Teign the older generation believed that
the song of the cuckoo called the salmon upstream
March, he sits on his perch; April he tunes his bill; May, he sings all day;
June he alters his tune, and July, away he do fly"
This is a Reedwarbler feeding a juvenile cuckoo!
According to Aristotle the cuckoo should be praised for its resourcefulnes, for laying its egg in another birds nest.
This habit has led to a connection between cuckoo and cuckoldry and indeed the word cuckold is derived from cuckoo.
"The cuckoo then on very tree
Mocks married men. for thus he sings: Cuckoo!"