Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ruddock.

 Rudder.Ruddy-mane [Bloody-hand]. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The redbreast, “sacred to the household gods.” The legend says if a redbreast finds a dead body in the woods it will “cover it with moss.” Drayton alludes to this tradition—   1
“Covering with moss the dead’s unclosed eye,
The little redbreast teacheth charitie.”
The Owl.
   Shakespeare makes Arvir’agus say over Imogen—   2
“Thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose; nor
The azured barebell … the ruddock would
With charitable bill … bring thee all these.”
Cymbeline, iv. 2.
   So also in the folk tale of The Babes in the Wood   3
“The Robins so red
Fresh strawberry-leaves did over them spread.”

 Rudder.Ruddy-mane [Bloody-hand]. 


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