I suppose there are some folks who've never had the opportunity to search through their lawns for four-leaf clovers. Here in the Midwest it's as easy as walking out the door - especially if you live in the country. And, you don't use chemicals to treat your turf grass. And you're a kid.
Clover (mostly red) was used in the crop rotation cycle and as pasture crop for those having animals. Some consider it a food while others a weed. It's in the pea family.
The four-leafed clover is considered an uncommon variation of the common three-leafed clover. Very recently, scientists have found the gene responsible for the mutation. Since it's unusual, half the fun was the mystery of "will you?" or "won't you?" find one. Once found, it was paraded like the mystical pot of gold. Everyone KNEW finding one of those babies guaranteed good luck.
St. Patrick used it as a symbol of the Christian Holy Trinity. Lore has it Eve carried a four-leafed clover in the Garden of Eden. Perhaps the whole luck thing has been over stated! The Celts of Wales used it to ward off evil spirits.
Some sources say the leaves stand for Faith, Hope, Love and Luck. The song we used to sing as kids said:
"I'm looking over a four-leafed clover
That I overlooked before.
One is for sunshine
The other for rain.
Third is for roses
That grow in the lane.
No need explaining
the one remaining
Is somebody I adore.
I'm looking over a four-leafed clover
That I overlooked before."
Four-leafed clovers come from the white flowered clover plant. The chances of finding a four-leafed clover is one in 10,000. These odds typically only appeal to children or the hopelessly addicted gambler. There are five-leafed clovers (even more rare) and one with 56 leaves was found. It was found in Japan and I wonder if their serious environmental problems might be the cause. In that case, perhaps the more leaves - the less lucky?
And who could not agree luck should come with a good belly laugh:
"I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover"
- Chevy Chase and Ken Shapiro