Once upon a time, female blackbirds were white as snow, but during one particularly harsh winter their appearance changed forever.
January, was a cruel month, cold and unforgiving, especially towards the little animals that struggled to survive to see another spring. Food was scarce, and snowstorms were frequent and the blackbird decided she’d had enough of January’s harassments, who liked to wait for her to come out of her nest looking for food, to make it rain, and snow and freeze the ground.
So that one particular harsh winter that this story took place, the blackbird gathered all the food she could find and took shelter in her nest for the whole month of January, without ever getting outside, since her food provisions could last a long time.
On the last day of the month, she came out, jubilant, thinking she had managed to trick the obnoxious January and started to make fun of it. January was so angry that decided to borrow three days from February and use that time to unleash blizzards, wind and frost upon the earth.
The little blackbird managed to take shelter inside a chimney for those terrible three days and when she came out, her plumage had become dark with soot and stayed like that forever.
This is the story of how the female blackbird became the color of ash and also of how February got to lose three days and January’s last days became the coldest days of the year. The days of the blackbird, “i giorni della merla” as we call them in Italy.

January has just passed and these last few days have been indeed the coldest we’ve had this year.
It is also said that if “giorni della merla” are cold then we can expect a warm spring, if on the contrary they are pretty warm for the season, then spring will arrive late.
So do not despair snow has ruined your plans for this weekend, if the story is true, at least we should be getting a pleasant spring this year!

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