Pears for partridges and you

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The things that you learn doing research! December is National Pear Month and so, in thinking of the fruits, my mind immediately latched on to the first lyric from “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” But why was the partridge in a pear tree?

It was speculated more than a century and a half ago that “pear-tree” is just a corruption of French perdrix (pronounced per-dree), which means partridge.

Another possibility is that an old English drinking song may have inspired the first gift. English solicitor William B. Sandys referred to it as a “convivial glee introduced a few years since, ‘A Pie [magpie] sat on a Pear Tree,’ where one drinks while the others sing.”

And the image of the partridge in a pear tree is in lines from a children’s counting rhyme from Mother Goose.

Going from historical literature to something more New Age, Dream Glossary said people from rural areas dream of pears more often than others (no surprise there). The kind of pear you see in your dreams could have different meanings, though. A ripe pear means that you’ll soon be worry-free. A rotten pear symbolizes disappointment. An unripe suggests you will have short-termed problems. And “dreaming of eating ripe and tasty pears symbolizes upcoming success regarding your health and business. Dreaming of eating pears symbolizes joy.”

Pear-themed desserts can help mix up the standard fare at holiday events this month

Horticulturally, pear trees are always good additions to your backyard or orchard. The trees are low-maintenance, have beautiful blossoms and can be easily trained to grow in small spaces. They’re also as hardy as apples and tend to be pest and disease resistant. MasterClass provides a very easy step-by-step guide on how to plant, care and harvest pear trees.

Most varieties of pears are ready to harvest around September, but enjoying them preserved in December brings a little bit of summer warmth to your taste buds during the colder, darker days. Consider adding a tree or two, either for yourself or for the partridges, when it comes time to plant in spring.

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