“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is probably one of the most famous weather proverbs.
There are other proverbs that are dedicated to the month of March, which can be found at Special Dictionary:
- On the first of March, the crows begin to search. (Arab)
- So many mists in March, so many frosts in May. (Dutch)
- March sun ages women. (Corsican)
- If you prune in March you’re either a jackass or crazy. (Sicilian)
However colorful, these proverbs are only runners-up to the image of a lion and a lamb sharing the same space. Artists like the 19th C Briton Rivière have imagined how that juxtaposition of power and docility could be illustrated. Here, Rivière allegorically pictures the character of Lady Una from Edmund Spenser’s Fairie Queen posing with a joyful lamb and and a devoted lion:
In Spenser’s epic poem (1590), the Lady Una overcomes slander, rescues a knight, and meets Arthur. While she may look innocent, there is a little lioness in her….and that is the same for the month of March. There are days that look tame, but they can turn ferocious in very quickly.
Besides, any one of the proverbs about March weather is still an improvement over a month that had centered predictions on the whims of a groundhog.