There are many superstitions associated with animals.
Halloween is a time for superstition and tradition. After all, even those costumes we don on October 31st come from a custom dating back to Celtic countries in the 18th and 19th centuries. No Halloween is complete without black cats, bats and other creepy critters, and there are many superstitions that are associated with those animals. In this blog series, we’re going over some of Halloween’s creepiest critters, and if you haven’t already, check out our Levittown veterinarian’s last blog to learn all about black cats, bats and spiders. Keep reading to learn crows and ravens, wolves and snakes.
Crows and Ravens
Crows and ravens are both seen as bad omens, most likely due to their jet black feathers. The fact that these birds are scavengers has also led to people associating them with death. Many people believe that these birds are a precursor of doom, or that witches could use crows or ravens to carry magic or mysterious messages for them. But the fact of the matter is that both ravens and crows are incredibly intelligent. Crows even use tools; prying open food with twigs and lying hard-to-crack nuts in the road for cars to run over. Crows even have a knack for remembering faces, and they can hold a grudge, so be careful not to make one angry.
Both positive and negative superstitions about wolves have been around for centuries, and between the years of 1850 and 1900, over a million wolves were killed in large part because of those superstitions. Superstitions about wolves range from them bringing good luck and fortune to them being the devil in disguise, but the most famous superstition is probably the werewolf. It was believed that human beings could turn themselves into wolves while retaining their human intelligence. These werewolves are supposed to have incredible strength, a strong sense of smell and nocturnal vision, and they are also immortal — their only weakness being pure silver. Today, we know that wolves are essential for controlling populations of raccoons, coyotes and deer.
Snakes have forked tongues, lidless eyes and legless bodies that slither creepily along the ground, so it’s no wonder so many people are afraid of them. Superstitions about snakes have been around for thousands of years; in the bible, it was even a snake that encouraged Eve to bite the forbidden apple. There are even myths that the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, eliminated all snakes on the island in order to diminish evil — though no snakes ever existed in Ireland to begin with. Many cultures also see snakes as bad omens. But in reality, snakes are essential for our ecosystem, helping to control insect and rodent populations, and very few of them are dangerous to humans.
There are many superstitions about the creepy critters that have become a part of modern-day Halloween traditions, and we hope that this blog series has helped to set the records straight. And, whether you have a black cat or a happy-go-lucky golden retriever, it’s important to get the veterinary care that they need, and there’s no better place to turn than East Meadow Veterinary Center. Schedule your appointment today!