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Swallow

Also known as the 'svale' bird according to Danish folklore, the swallow received its name by trying to relieve the sufferings of Christ while on the Cross by crying 'Svale, svale' which figuratively translates as 'Cheer up, cheer up!'. In Scotland (UK) it was believed that the swallow had the blood of the Devil in its veins. The sight of this bird indicates that summer is on the way but watch to see if the bird flies low as this will signal that rain is on the way. If this bird builds a nest on the roof of your home, it is thought to be lucky and to be protective against fire, lightning and storms. Misfortune will follow if it suddenly abandons the nest. The swallow that flies into your home will bring considerable good fortune according to English (UK) folklore. Should a woman tread on the eggs it is believed that she will become barren according to an old German belief. A French belief tells that should one land on your shoulder then death is present. An almost universal belief held by farmers is said that to kill a swallow will result in the milk yield being poor, whilst if you disturb the nest then the harvest will be a poor one. It is traditionally seen as a sign of misfortune to see a group of swallows fighting amongst themselves. It was believed that the swallow carried two precious stones within their bodies: a red one to cure insanity, and a black one thought to bring good luck. The swallow like the wren is credited with bringing fire to humankind, but both suffered as a result, hence the red feathers.