Stay in! Don’t venture to far from home today! It’s Old Quawk’s Day!
What is Old Quawk’s Day? Well, according to tradition (and William Powell’s Encyclopedia of North Carolina) it is a “day when residents of Ocracoke Island…are advised not to wander far from home.” The legend stems from a man known only as “Old Quawk,” who had been shipwrecked on Ocracoke Island and decided to live there as sort of a hermit. The island’s inhabitants only saw Old Quawk when he had something to sell or needed to buy supplies. One day (March 16 in fact), he took off in a small boat during a storm while shouting curses toward heaven. Needless to say, he was never seen or heard from again. After this event, the islanders noticed that a lot of bad things started happening every March 16, so they decided that it was a good day to stay close to home. So…unless you have a good reason to be out today…stay in!
Another version of the story has the event happening on February 6. I apologize for not warning you about that day, but it just slipped up on me.