In all the iterations of my children's book, including the final draft, Miss Opal and Sydney live on a farm. The one fixture all farms have in common is a weather vane. They have been used to tell wind direction since around 139 BCE, when the Chinese referenced a "wind-observing fan" in a series of texts called the Huainanzi. The oldest surviving weather vane in the shape of a rooster dates from 820 CE and can be found in a museum in Brescia, Italy. One theory about the use of a rooster in weather vanes, particularly on church steeples, comes from Pope Gregory I, who claimed it was a symbol of Christianity. Another theory comes from the Goths, who said the rooster was an emblem of the sun. According to the Farmer's Almanac, people originally tied strings or cloth to the tops of buildings so that they could see which way the wind was blowing. Those strings or cloths later became banners, which is where we get the “vane” in weather vane. It's an Old English word that meant “banner” or “flag.” This drawing represents the weather vane on top of my friend Amy's barn.