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North Carolina Traditional Weather Lore

Back in the early days, when plants and animals were first made, they were told to fast and stay awake for seven days to gain spirit power. All were anxious to gain power so they tried to do as instructed and most were able to stay awake through the first night. The next night some started to fall asleep, and by the third night many of them were asleep. By the seventh night, only a few of the animals were awake. The panther, the owl and one or two others managed to stay awake and as their reward they were given the power to see and go about in the dark. Many of the plants also fell asleep and of the trees, only the cedar, the spruce, the pine, the holly, and the laurel were able to stay awake. As their reward, these were allowed to be always green, while the others must lose their leaves in the fall.

James Mooney, in his important work, 
History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee, 
relates the Cherokee's explanation for fall.

These are some of the more popular North Carolina folk sayings about autumn and the weather. Many variations exist and have been reported in numerous sources, including the Old Farmer's Almanac, the Foxfire series, and the collections of the NC Folklore Society. All of them are guaranteed to be true (sometimes).


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