donkeys


donkeys
   Donkeys, proverbially stupid, obstinate, and over-sexed, were despised, yet the cross on their backs was a holy marking, since Jesus rode a donkey. Nineteenth-century sources credit them with healing powers; children suffering from whooping cough, measles, fevers, or rickets were passed *three or *nine times over and under a donkey, or made to wear or swallow hairs from this mark (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 122-3).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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