Hen and Chickens
(in Christian art), emblematical of God's providence. (See
St. Matthew xxiii. 37.)
A whistling maid and crowing hen is neither fit for God nor men.
A whistling maid means a witch, who whistles like the Lapland
witches to call up the winds; they were supposed to be in league with
the devil. The crowing of a hen was supposed to forbode a death. The
usual interpretation is that masculine qualities in females are
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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