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Monday, March 12, 2018

March--in like a Lion, out like a Lamb

Blog-a-Book-Scene is a monthly themed blogging endeavor from a group of authors who love to share excerpts from their stories. Find us on Twitter with the hashtag #blogabookscene and #PrairieRosePub.

Ah, March…  “Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb”

Sitting here, thinking about a March blog and listening to the early March wind howl outside, that saying came to mind. I grew up with it—it was repeated every time a thunderstorm fired up in early March. But I have no idea where it comes from. And after researching it—I’m still not sure.

According to the Paris Review blog, one of the earliest citations is from Thomas Fuller in a 1732 compendium, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. Fuller's wording is as I listed at the top of this blog.

Another possible reference seems to be the stars. March begins under Leo, the lion, and goes out under Aries, the ram—although a lamb and a ram aren’t quite the same thing.

Regardless, if you grew up and/or live in tornado alley like me, when the wind blows strong and the storms pop up, the adage will come up more than once this month.

In a nod to spring—may it please arrive soon!—here’s an excerpt from one of my short stories.

From NO LESS THAN FOREVER, A River’s Bend Duo:

Love always finds a way…

Doctor Franz Bittner is satisfied with his life as it is. He has a good practice in a place where he is respected, in spite of his German birth. He has good friends and enough income to provide him with a few comforts. A wife would only complicate things. Then a tiny blond stranger is pulled from the river and everything changes. With one smile she captures his attention—and steals his heart.

Rebekah Snow Redmann barely survived her abusive husband’s attack. Though she was given to him to pay her father’s debts, she’d rather die than go back. Then she ends up in the care of the handsome local doctor and he stitches up more than her wounds—he mends her soul. With him, she discovers everything that she believes she can never have...a love that will last forever.

“This is the first time our little town has attempted such a thing. The Spring Dance was envisioned by Martha and her friend, Mary Hawken, and they’ve worked very hard on it. Would you like to attend this evening?”

Rebekah stared up at Franz from her spot on the blue damask settee. “I don’t think I’m strong enough to dance.”

“You don’t have to do anything more than sit and watch. I should attend, in support of my sister, but I will stay here with you, if that is what you wish.”

“No, you mustn’t disappoint Martha. She’s been so kind to me. You both have.”

When Franz’s gaze heated, she looked away. She may not know much, but she recognized his desire. She felt the same for him and it made her physically ill to know nothing could come of it.

“Little one, we don’t have to go. I will simply ask someone to come and stay with us while Martha is gone.”

“A chaperone?” Rebekah laughed. “That’s hardly necessary, given the circumstances.” When he remained silent, she tried to explain. “If I’m married, you’re safe. And the people here know you would never take advantage of me.”

“But do you know that?” He crossed the room to sit beside her. “Do you believe you are safe alone here with me?”

“Yes.” Though that wasn’t entirely true. She trusted him—but not herself.

“That is good.” Franz patted her hand and rose. “Then we will attend the dance for Martha. We will stay only a little while, and when you are ready, we will come home.”

She nodded her agreement and he left, mumbling something about pressing a suit. He’d barely disappeared from sight when the front door opened and Martha breezed in, bringing a waft of cool, damp spring air into the room.

Fear that her presence in Martha’s parlor would upset the woman ripped through her. “Franz said it was all right if I sat in here for a while. The sun felt so good and I sat right where he showed me. I didn’t touch anything else, I swear.” Her words trailed off when Martha only stared at her in silence before reminding her that she was welcome in this beautiful home. Martha went so far as to give her permission to rearrange the room to suit herself. “I don’t think I’ll find it necessary to move everything.”

“That is good to hear. Are you up to eating a bite of supper? Then I have to get dressed for the Spring Dance.”

“I’ve invited Rebekah to go with us.” Franz leaned against the doorframe, smiling gently at his patient.

Rebekah couldn’t believe she was actually blushing as Franz smiled at her. When Martha enthusiastically supported her brother, she knew she was attending the dance. “I have nothing to wear.”

Martha suggested Mary Hawken might have a dress that would fit and Franz immediately offered to go and ask, shocking both women. But the thought of wearing something that hadn’t been provided by her husband held incredible allure.

Martha’s voice brought her attention back. “We’ll eat and dress before Matthew arrives.”

“Sheriff Tate?” Rebekah couldn’t stop the wave of terror that swept her. She avoided lawmen. The scars on her back were from the one time she’d tried to involve the law to gain her freedom.

Martha’s reassurance helped, though her fear was too deep-seated to be removed by a few words. But, she would never disappoint Martha or Franz. If going to the dance meant being in the company of Sheriff Tate, she would manage somehow.


  1. Great story, Tracy! Really enjoyed it back when it was first released.

    1. Thanks, Kristy! I'm enjoying your foster transportation stories on FB. That's something I'd like to do when I can.

  2. I loved this story.

    Like you, I've heard the saying many times and never knew where it came from. The zodiac makes sense to me. Doris

    1. Me, too, Doris. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Tracy, my mom always said "in like a lion, out like a lamb"--I never realized how many of those "sayings" were a part of my life growing up! LOL Yes, we are both in tornado alley and it's that time of year. I have to say, I feel better now that we've got the tornado shelter -- got a smaaaaalll one that will fit Gary, me and the big white dog, barely--one that is a safe room type, not one we'd have to climb up from or down into--and I sleep a lot better at night just knowing it's there! LOL

  4. Tracy, I grew up with the saying, too. I live on the western edge of 'Tornado Alley' in southeastern Colorado, and it's scary enough during the tornado season. I couldn't live where you and Cheryl do--right in the heart of tornado-land.

    'No Less than Forever' is one of my favorite stories. *hugs*

  5. I liked this excerpt. What a lovely story. You've taken on a difficult subject and treated it with such sensitivity, Tracy. I remember Franz.