Thursday, March 1, 2012

(DF) MARCH: In like a lion, out like a lamb?

It is already March and the feel and colors of spring are all around. Frogs are even croaking and chirping in the neighbor's pond, announcing the new season of growth. As always, the first of March is a day I pay special attention to, in the interest of knowing how the last day of March will be. For the month of March, "in like a lion, out like a lamb", or visa verse, is one of the innumerable little sayings I grew up with.

Some such sayings are pretty accurate, some are not so accurate at all, and others just seem a bit confusing. This, for me at least, is one of the confusing ones. Yes, I know it is really simple, and yes, I know that such things should not be thought of too deeply, but being of such an extreme curious nature, I simply can't help it.

First off, there is the question of how a lion comes in or goes out. Is it with a roar? If so, does that imply thunderstorms, a strong wind or simply any kind of fierce weather? And what about the lamb? Does it come in, or go out, with a gentle breeze, warm sunshine, or maybe even soft fluffy snow? Ridiculous questions, I know, but please bear with me........ it may get worse.

With my natural curiosity and tendency toward finding the real truth of a matter, made all the worse by my background in field biology, I am inclined to test these old sayings. The real question here is how to test something so subjective. When you consider that lions are normally only fierce when hungry or threatened and are otherwise gentle, nurturing creatures, and that lambs are often far from the passive little balls of fluff they are portrayed to be, you may begin to see my confusion. Don't worry, I will save the majority of animal behavior issues for later .............. much later. I also won't dig into the question of where this saying may have originated that my western European ancestors who passed it down, would have had lions to compare to (at least not right now).

For the purpose of this post, lets assume that lions are ferocious creatures that roar a lot and lambs are darling, gentle creatures (which mostly they are). Now, it becomes a matter of degrees. Is that wind really a roar, or the sound of an overly playful lamb? If it shakes the windows and rocks the cars in the driveway it is obvious but otherwise it is any body's opinion. Storms are a bit more obvious but not fool proof either. Warm and sunny with a gentle breeze ......... probably a lamb but warm and cloudy with a stronger wind is iffy.

Whatever the case, it has been warm and sunny here today with a gusty wind. Since I can find no really solid guidelines, I am saying March came in this year like a slightly unruly and overly playful lamb. We will just have to wait and see how it goes out.

I would love to hear any opinions or input on this old saying, or any other. As always, your comments are more than welcome.


  1. I really enjoyed that post! Following your line of philosophical musings...Our Mar 1 was a "poke it to see if it is still alive" lamb, unlike today which would have been a "four day hungry" lion. Gotta love spring!

  2. I grew up with that saying, too. In fact, that is usually what comes to mind first when I hear the month "March" spoken.
    The last day of March is my oldest daughter's birthday. That year, March went out leaving me with a beautiful, sweet, gentle, angelic little lamb! And each and every year, no matter what the weather brings, March ends with the celebration of my beautiful, sweet, little lamb.

  3. Mary and Anna, this is what I love about these old sayings. Everyone who is familiar with them can relate it to something. That is what keeps them alive and gets them passed down to the next generation. Thank you so much for the comments.


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