In animal terms March brings us to the March Hare which is noted for its odd behaviour, at least odd to human eyes. No-one really knows when the hare entered the UK, it was certainly here in the Iron Age, but there is little evidence for its presence before. We do know that the Celts saw it as sacred and would avoid consuming its flesh, and it seems to have maintained its mystical character.
Witches were also supposed to turn into hares. These were a kind of uber-hare which could only be dispatched with a silver bullet or by placing rowan or vervain behind the gun stock. If a witch hare was wounded the same wounds would appear on her in human form. A white hare is sometimes seen as bringing bad luck, but it can also be associated with the soul of someone who has died in unfortunate circumstances.
Mary Webb’s Precious Bane
In the past it was believed that if a pregnant woman saw a hare her child would be born with a fissure in the midline of the upper lip which was known as a hare lip. This idea also appears in fiction in Mary Webb’s Precious Bane. In contrast, the hare was also able to cure certain ailments and carrying a hare’s foot in the right-hand pocket was believed to cure cramps and rheumatism.