Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario. 25
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD.
336. It is popularly believed that a child may be affected prenatally
in various ways. Hand-like discolorations in infants, for instance,
are attributed to blows received by the mother. Even the sight of
unpleasant objects are supposed to produce similar effects. One woman
was frightened at a mouse, in consequence of which her child exhibited
a mouse-like excrescence. Another was frightened by a rabbit, upon
the child was born with a hare-lip.
337. Children may also be afflicted with various cravings as a result
of such influences. A certain woman had an abnormal desire for an
alcoholic beverage, which was denied to her by her husband. As a
consequence the child had a similar craving. The same idea is held
with regard to various foods. In such cases, if the woman’s appetites
or desires be satisfied, the child will not be injuriously affected.
338. A baby should have a fall before it is six months old if it is to
have good sense. (An Ottawa informant.)
339. A gift of some kind should be placed in the hand of a newly-
born child the first time you see it. This is for luck. Any sort of
trinket will do. (An Irish woman living in Toronto.)
340. The first house an infant is taken to will have a birth in it
within a year.
341. To kiss a newly-born baby brings good luck.
342. A baby must not see itself in a glass, or it will be vain.
343. If a child is born with a tooth, it will be hanged,
344. If its mother carries it in her arms the first time she walks in
the open air after its birth, it will never take a serious cold.
345. The first house its mother enters with it in her arms will be
sure to receive a similar blessing (i.e., have a baby, too) during the
346. To take a newly-born babe into the topmost room of the house,
then into the basement, and then into every room in the house, is
347. It is unlucky to name a baby after a dead person. The child,
it is said, will die very young.
348. If a child has two crowns on its head, it will live in two king-
349. If it is born with a “veil” covering the face, it will be gifted
with “second sight.”