Black Hen, Fast of the
In Hungary and adjacent countries it was believed that if a
person who had been robbed wished to discover the thief, then
the victim must take a black hen and fast strictly for nine Fridays.
The thief would then either return the plunder or die.
This is called ‘‘taking up a black fast’’ against someone. A great
deal of lore concerning black hens may be found in the works
of Angelo de Gubernatis.