By Guess or By Golly

UPDATE: The birth occurred early in the morning on January 9th, which was within slightly more than 24 hours of the predicted date.

I seem to be giving my younger readers an ongoing education in idioms from a bygone era. This one seems particularly appropriate to the situation. We have an informal family lottery going to guess the actual birth-date of our new grandson, judged by those who estimate such things to be December 31, 2019. I decided to use two different divination methods to make my prediction: Lenormand cards and dice.

For the first attempt, I dealt the Lenormand cards until the Storks turned up. (I used Lynn Boyle’s Heloise Lenormand.) This card is symbolic of childbirth (the Birds is more about news of a pregnancy). It came up on the 17th pull, which makes the suggested date the 16th of January. This seems late, but I understand that up to a month can pass before it becomes necessary to induce labor.

All images copyright Lynne Boyle

For the dice prediction, I first rolled a single die to focus on the week beginning with the due date and then two dice to get a longer interval. Since this is a second child, conventional wisdom is that they often arrive sooner rather than later, so I didn’t bother to roll three or four dice. The first roll produced a 6-spot, January 5th to be precise. The second roll delivered a total of 11, making the upper limit of probability January 10th. The mean value between the 5th and the 16th comes in at 10.5, which approximates the higher dice roll. So late in the day on January 10th or early on January 11th is my official “guess-timate.” I’ll post the outcome as soon as it’s known.


2 thoughts on “By Guess or By Golly

  1. The storks came on the 17th, and the dice equal 17 in number! I know you explained how you came to 11, but I couldn’t see past the 17 total. That’s 2 different versions, same number…what are the odds? 😊

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent point! I didn’t take the analysis of the dice rolls that far. Since the count started on the projected due date of “any time on December 31,” I included that day as “0,” so the 17th card brought me to the 16th of January. But your observation does add weight to to the case for a later due date.


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