By: Blonde One
Each year at Ten Tors weekend it’s the first time I hear the cuckoo call. I’ve never seen it but I know which trees it sits in as it oversees the goings-on of the 2400 youngsters.
Most of us know the cuckoo as the cheeky little bird that cleverly gets other birds to bring up its young as it lays its eggs in their nests, but there are loads of legends that surround this bird that I for one, did not know. The great website Legendary Dartmoor has some good ones.
On first hearing the cuckoo you’re supposed to run in a circle three times to get good fortune. But apparently if you hear the cuckoo on April 14th you should turn a coin over in your pocket (I thought that was for a new moon!). If you were on soft ground you will get good luck, if you were on hard ground then you’re not so lucky.
There are three possible names for a group of them: the cooch, the family or the asylum. I love the ‘asylum’ best but think it’s a bit rude! I’m not sure the cuckoo would appreciate the implication.