The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Nineteen – Fun Fact

Do you believe in bad omens? What about good ones? Many people believe that horseshoes, the number 13, or double rainbows are signs of good fortune. Today’s Fun Fact for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 19 focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“‘Poor fool, why so fearful?  I am as forlorn as thou.  ’Twould be a sham in me to hurt the helpless, who am myself so helpless.  Moreover, I owe you thanks for a good omen; for when a king has fallen so low that the very rats do make a bed of him, it surely meaneth that his fortunes be upon the turn, since it is plain he can no lower go.‘” (p. 119)

This scene shows Edward waking up after a night of sleeping in a barn only to discover a rat has used him as a bed. Instead of being terrified or disgusted, he sees the rat as a good omen because things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

Four-Leaf Clovers

  • Ancient Ireland
  • Celts believed they could help them see fairies in order to avoid their mischief
  • Many types of clovers grow four leaves
  • The lucky ones are a mutation of the white clover plant (only have three leaves normally)
  • True four-leaf clovers are rare (1 in 10,000)

Lucky Bamboo

  • China
  • Not actually bamboo; close relative called Dracaena
  • One of the luckiest plants in feng shui
  • Many types of clovers grow four leaves
  • Represents good fortune
  • The more stalks it has, the more luck it brings


  • Multiple cultures
  • In German-speaking cultures its name (Glueckskaefer) translates to “lucky bugs” 
  • Some say if one lands on you it’s lucky
  • Others say if a man and a woman see one at the same time they fall in love
  • Number of spots indicates how many children a woman could have
  • Killing a ladybug can bring misfortune


  • Norse Culture (Vikings)
  • Believed they protected people from Thor’s wrath (lightning god)
  • Would place acorn on windowsill
  • Believed it would protect their house from being struck by lightning


  • Africa
  • Some tribes believe these will grant them good luck
  • Especially when gambling
  • Modern-day surfers will sometimes wear these for protection

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