Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

The custom of playing tricks on April Fool's Day goes back more than 200 years. It commemorates the birthday, on April 1st 1752, of Olaf Toyou, the first-born son of Hungarian fisherfolk. When Olaf was nearly 6 months old, on September 12th 1752, a violent earthquake struck far out in the Mediterranean. Olaf was sleeping in a cradle slung from the branch of a tree, while his mother mended nets nearby.
The turbulent sea raced up the beach so swiftly and quietly that the mother noticed nothing until it was too late. She ran to save her son but all she found in the cradle was a small fish.
Demented, the mother searched for her husband, shrieking that the baby had gone. While her back was turned, a second tidal wave miraculously returned the baby to the cradle and retrieved the fish. When the husband inspected the cradle and found the boy, wet but unharmed, he berated his wife as a fool. She, however, remained convinced that her child had the power to turn himself into a fish at will.To the derision of everyone on that stretch of the coast she insisted on calling him Olaf 'Pilor" - which means Olaf the Little Pilchard.
To this day, people in France must beware of turning their backs on April 1st… they may later discover a paper fish pinned to their jacket and realize with embarrassment that they have become the 'Poisson d'Avril' ('April Fish').
There is one way to avoid becoming an April Fool: it is said that to hang a little cradle, carrying a fish, around your neck, or at the front door, will protect you and your family.

Taken from All Year Round by Ann Druitt

I made a cradle from a bird's nest (those nests are handy, let me tell you!) with some unspun wool and hung it from a tree branch on our nature table. The baby is a tiny Waldorf doll, which I made some time ago. I cut the fish out of double wool felt and blanket stitched around it, embroidering the eyes and stuffing it with wool. I told Kitten the story, using blue play silk for a wave and she loved it (even more she loved playing with the little fish and putting it to bed).


  1. Julie, you are hilarious! Every item on these photos just screams "Julie" :) Did the baby return with or without the blanket? That would be a major give away of his true abilities :) I can totally see you energetically swinging the blue silk, telling the story, your eyes burning excitedly, and Kitten watching, her eyes burning equally excitedly. You girls are so cute! :) Can't wait to see you!!

    ~ Oxana

  2. I was covering the fish with a blanket as well, I removed it to show that it is a fish (you can't really tell if it is covered with a blanket) :) I know, I do tend to get carried away when playing and especially acting, but you should have seen how Kitten took the silk away from me and insisted that she will make the wave. We repeated the story multiple time and she knew exactly when to do the waving and she was also making the "shhh" sound! When are you coming anyway? We can't wait to see you too!

  3. Ugh, I don't know when I am coming :-\ Maybe even not untill May now. I have so much stuff I gotta catch up on, 10 page research paper, another 8 page paper, midterm rewrite (because I sucked on it, as did most of the class :) ), 2 finals, a whole book to read on couples therapy, clients' paperwork and preparation for sessions... And absolutely no time to work on all of it during the week. I will see how much I get done over the weekend of the 16th, but I am not very hopeful :(( I will call you over that weekend (won't get a chance to talk to you before that, and someone didn't answer my phone calls this weekend) and we will talk :)

    ~ Oxana

  4. That's no fun, we will discuss it later than. Sorry I missed your call but when I saw it, it's been 5 or 6 hours and I figured that by then you are busy. Have fun in Mexico!