In like a lion, out like a lamb
Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
I began thinking this week about the proverb, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” This actually took me down memory lane a bit. My birthday is in March and I was thinking about all the different kinds of weather I’ve experienced on my birthday. I remember one year in particular when my Mom and Dad bought me a kite I had been begging for. The week before my birthday had been warm and beautiful with just enough breeze to fly a kite. However, a couple days before my birthday the weather turned cold and on my birthday I woke to several inches of snow. My parents gave me the kite anyway and I tried to talk them into trying to fly it to no avail. I ended up having to wait almost 2 weeks before I was able to fly it!
I also remember every year in school we would do art projects that involved the lion/lamb proverb. However, I don’t remember ever being told how that proverb began. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I began to look it up this week. I found out a couple things. First of all, the weather in most parts of the country are a little wilder at the beginning of March and by the end we usually have warmer temperatures and milder weather.
However, there is another reason as well. It has to do with astrology. On March 1st if you look at the stars just above the western horizon at 8 pm (and your good with stars!) you can see the stars that make up Aires or the Ram (i.e. lamb) constellation. At the same time fairly even with the Ram just above the eastern horizon you can find the constellation Leo or Lion. However, as March progresses the Ram sinks lower on the western horizon and the Lion raises higher in the eastern horizon. By March 31st the Lamb is right on the horizon and the Lion is almost directly overhead. Hence the proverb in like a lion, out like a lamb.
I found this wonderful web site http://www.jackstargazer.com/cartoonMar99.jpg with Jack Horkheimer that has a great cartoon depicting this whole event. It also shows you what the constellations look like to help you find them. Although I’ve never seen it there is a PBS series that Mr. Horkheimer hosts called “Star Gazing.” From what I understand, it focuses on constellations you can see with the naked eye.
This could be a neat activity to do with your children. It is also could lead to a discussion about how unpredictable our weather can be at this time of year and how you and your family can be prepared for emergency situations. This would be a great time to check batteries in flashlights and radios. Get together a emergency med kit and store it in your “safe place” along with a couple blankets, food, water, any medications that are needed on a daily basis, and extra eye glasses. The FEMA web site: http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/assemble_disaster_supplies_kit.shtm has a complete list of everything you should have. It also tells you how to store some things as well as how much you need to store. As the old saying goes “luck favors the prepared.” Now I wonder how that one started?
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