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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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INDEX OF TAPE 750002, SIDE A

PRONUNCIATION OF NAME
WHERE I LIVE IN THAILAND
GAMES
COUNTING OUT
HIDE AND SEEK
CAN'T PLAY AT NIGHT (TABU)
MEASURING AND COUNTING TIME
ONOMATOPEIA
FEEDING MONKS
MORE ABOUT TIME
GAMES AGAIN
COPS AND ROBBERS
GOALS
HIDING OBJECTS
KITE' FLYING AND KITE FIGHTS
HIDING THE DOLL LIKE A TISKET-A-TRASKET

Where learned: THAILAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
SPEECH -- S563

Date learned: 00001960S

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FATHER: WHY AT YOUR AGE, GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS
ALREADY A FULL-FLEDGED SURVEYOR!
SON: AND AT YOUR'S, HE WAS PRESIDENT!

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time

Date learned: 11-20-1968

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INDIAN NEW YEAR

FOLLOWING THE LUNAR CALENDAR, THE NEW YEAR BEGINS
GENERALLY IN APRIL. THE PEOPLE WILL SPEND A FEW
MINUTES IN A TEMPLE, WITH A BANQUET IN THE
AFTERNOON. IT IS CALLED GUDI PADUA. IN 1967
IT OCCURRED ON APRIL 10, IN 1968 ON MARCH 29.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time

Date learned: 03-19-1968

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Calendar Rhyme

Thirty days are in September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
But February, it is done
At twenty-eight, though leap one more
Whenever the year divides by four.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MONTHS

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Month

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Many jobs around the house that I helped or watched my father
do required a time of one minute to be clocked and he could do it
without a watch or clock. He would just say ten Hail Marys and the
time had passed. This is a good way to let a minute pass by.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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USE OF ZODIAC CALENDAR FOR CASTRATION

WHEN WE WOULD BUTCHER THE HOGS IN FALL, WE WOULD USE THE
ZODIAC CALENDAR. WE DIDN'T LIKE TO CASTRATE ANIMALS
UNLESS THE ZODIAC SIGN WAS IN THE FEET ON THE CHART.
IF THE SIGN WAS IN THE PROPER PLACE, THE ANIMAL WOULDN'T
BLEED AS MUCH IF CASTRATED AT THE WRONG TIME IN THE
ZODIAC CALENDAR.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MY NEIGHBOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
BELIEF -- Animal Husbandry Farming Ranching

Date learned: 00001940-1950

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MOST ORTHODOX HOMES ARE BLESSED ON CHRISTMAS
(JULIAN CALENDER). THIS IS DONE TO BLESS THE
INHABITANTS AND TO INSURE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.
HOMES ARE ALSO BLESSED ON EASTER TO CELEBRATE THE
RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment: OUR HOME IS STILL BLESSED ON EACH MAJOR HOLIDAY
ACCORDING TO THE JULIAN CALENDER ALTHOUGH THE
CUSTOM IS NOT AS POPULAR AS IT ONCE WAS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system:
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Movable Date
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-15-1971

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THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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Language

In the summer of 1816 there were frosts during each of the summer months in Hyde Park Vt. and much of the surrounding area. These frosts during the summer months discouraged many of the local farmers who abandoned their farms and moved westward. During the summer of 1816 a poem was written which is often recalled by Vermonters and printed in Vermont newspapers when the summers are unusually cool. The poem discourages people from leaving the area. the poem says:

"Moses saud we are to inhabit all the world, warmer climates lead to more vices, one doesn't change wives because of a wrinkle or farms because of a cold summer.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added By TRD

Where learned: New York Folklore Quarterly ; Fitch Against Immigration

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; Chill ; FARMING ; Frost ; HARVEST ; Hyde Park ; Language ; Moses ; poem ; Region ; SEASON ; Summer ; Summer ; Vermont ; WINTER ; Wives ; Wrinkle

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time

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showing 11 items

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