oddities-1

Odd Showers [frogs, lizards and pilchards]

From a scarce work (1882) which covers such curious subjects as revivals after execution, female jockeys, Blind Jack the roadmaker of Knaresborough, singular funerals, whimsical wills, curious epitaphs, the Caistor Gad-whip Manorial Service, dog whippers and sluggard wakers, how the town of Alfreton was played for at a game of cards etc.,The author seems to have been a contributor to 'Notes & Queries' and fascinated by the odd, curious and strange. God preserve us from a shower of pilchards...

  More remarkable still than a shower of frogs is that of lizards. The scarcity of these animals, one would think, would almost exclude the possibility of their appearing in such numbers as to constitute what might be termed a shower. The following, however, appeared in the Montreal Weekly Gazette of 28th December, I857-- " During the heavy rain of Sunday last, live lizards, some of them measuring four inches in length, fell from the clouds like manna, though not as plentiful, nor alf so welcome. They were found crawling on the side walks and in the streets, like infantile fugitive alligators in places far removed from localities which they inhabit."
  Carriber, in his interesting little volume, entitled " Odd Showers," gives the following account of a descent of fishes: "On Wednesday before Easter, in I666, a pasture field of two acres, at Cranstead, near Wrotham, in Kent, was all overspread with little fishes, supposed to have rained down, as there was at the time a great tempest of thunder and rain. Wrotham is far  from the sea, there were no fish-pinds near, but a great scarcity of water. The fish were of the length of the little finger, and proved to be about a bushel; none were found in any adjoining fields. This account was given a letter from Dr. Robert Conny, to the late Dr. Robert Plot, F.R.S., who it seems had promised the former an account of a shower of herrings."
  The Rev. Aaron Roberts, B.A., curate of St. Peter's, Caermarthen, wrote a letter to the Times, which appeared in that paper of February 25th, I859, giving particulars of a shower of pilchards which occurred at Mountain Ash, Glamorganshire. From his account it appears that some of the fishes were about four inches long. A number were caught and preserved in fresh water, salt water killing them almost as soon as they were put in it.

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