“Winnie still loves me! Either the powers that be who control the luck o’ the Irish are smiling favorably upon me or I really am the dashing, debonair doggie that I always thought I was. Whatever it is, it’s working, and we are having so much fun together. I’m so happy it’s spring and officially warm here; it’s so pleasant to spend more time outside with Winnie. But I admit that all of this luck o’ the Irish from last month has got me curious about more Irish folklore and myth. For example— let’s talk about the four leaf clover. I personally have never seen one, but I hear that they’re supposed to be lucky. There are clover patches all over Myrtle Beach since there’s so much fluffy green grass about, but I’ve never seen so much as a lick of a stem of clover with anything other than three leaves.
Time to put the research cap back on and delve into the world of ferreting-out-the-truth. (You’ll have to just visualize me with a pair of spectacles and a podium— it will enhance your experience if you do, I think.)
Clover is actually a type of pea. Cows like to eat it; bees like its nectar; dogs like to roll in it; and humans like to walk barefoot in it. One should be so lucky to be loved by so many diverse life forms! Maybe it’s all that appreciation that makes it so lucky and imbues its holder with a portion of good fortune.
The plant is good at pulling nitrogen from the air and transferring it into the ground for other plants to eat. So it gives back to the community too! This plant is positively stealing my heart— if Winnie hadn’t already won it, that is. At any rate, one of the best types of clover for the soil, (ie. The one that shares so much nutrition and love with its neighbors) produces a fourth leaf on occasion when a suppressed gene it has fails to be repressed. Wow! Maybe it happens when the plant is bursting with so much love it just can’t help but sprout another leaf!
According to my esteemed source, the internet, the chances of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000. That’s maybe not surprising since it’s actually a mistake of nature. I guess it’s rather like a dog with five legs instead of four; kind of interesting if you think about it— that we come to associate the extra leaf with luck but an extra leg or two, an inconvenience. I don’t think that poor dog with an extra leg would consider himself very lucky, or that people would be running to rub his belly for some extra luck, do you?
Anyhow, in ancient times, the Celtic peoples revered four-leaf clovers and carried them around in case they met an evil spirit. Apparently, evil spirits were as freaked out by the extra leaf on a stalk of clover as I would be by having an extra leg, and they stayed far away from any who carried one. The belief stuck around throughout the middle ages, when it was discovered, at some time, in some way, that fairies felt the same as the evil spirits; consequently, children would meander about in fairy territory without much of a care, as long as they had the requisite four-leaf clover with them.
Examples of poetry amongst ancient literature reveal another meaning for the four-leaf clover: each leaf represents fame, wealth, health, and faithful love, respectively. I like that! Now for that patch of clover…”