Gorgeous image of snowflakes by Yuji Obata, found here.
"The old woman is shaking her feather bed." Grampa mentioned this one just now because enormous soft snow flakes are falling from the sky. "What old woman?" I asked him. "I have no idea," he said. "Just the one who lives in the sky," said Luke.
"The devil is beating his wife." Grampa explained that this one was said when it rains while the sun is shining. "Is the rain supposed to be the devil's wife's tears?" I asked, wondering about the poor devil's wife -- why have I never heard of her before? -- and her wretched life. "I have no idea," said Grampa.
"Freckles are caused by raindrops falling on your face." How did they get this one so very wrong? It's too much sun on your face, not rain. Unless, like me, you were simply born with them.
"If you go to someone's house and when you walk in the door, there is a broom lying on the floor in front of it, whatever you do, do not bend down and pick it up." "Why not?" I asked. "Because it will prove you are a witch. Just step over it," instructed Grampa. As a boy, Grampa himself visited the houses of people who performed this test on unsuspecting guests. "They were known to be fanatical about witches," he explained.
See also: the devil's darning needles.
(I get these in dribs and drabs. "Is that all you can remember right now?" I just asked him. "Yes, that's all," he said. But while I was searching for a good image of snowflakes, he came back into the room. "Did I ever tell you I wasn't allowed to watch during pig-killing time?" he asked me. "No," I said. "Why weren't you allowed to watch?" "Because if you pitied him, he wouldn't die," said Grampa. "I was allowed to watch after he was dead.")