in legend IN reply to Mrs A Westall (Letters, February 8) who asked how the robin got his red breast, the robin became popular in the 16th century, when it was deemed evil to kill one.

Legend has it if you killed a robin, bad luck and ill would live with you for ever.

Also, the robin has a Christian link. That the red breast comes from the bird pricking himself on the crown of thorns on the Lord's head and the blood stained his breast.

MR K SHARPLES, Heys Lane, Blackburn. Robin's holy honour IN reply to Mrs A Westall's question (Letters, February 8), during the passion of Christ the little robin plucked a thorn from Our Lord's crown and was rewarded by his scarlet breast.

So was the little donkey which carried Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He carries a cross upon his back and at midnight on Christmas Eve all the beasts of the field kneel.

And the lowly, but delicious haddock bears the thumb print of Christ to commemorate the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

Could anyone please tell me why it is unlucky to pass on the stairs? The reason escapes me.

W SMITH, Clarence Street, Colne. Blood-red reminder IN reply to Mrs A Westall (Letters, February 8), Jesus was on the cross, a small bird went to try and pluck the thorns from the crown on His head and His blood splashed its breast.

The robin is around at Christmas when Christ was born.

MISS M HOWARTH, Lancing Place, Blackburn.