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LEGENDARY ARABIAN HERO

TARAK BEN ZIYAD OPENED SPAIN TO CONQUEST. WHEN HIS SHIPS REACHED
THE COAST, HE ORDERED THEM TO BE BURNED. HE THEN TOLD HIS MEN:
"THE ENEMY IS IN FRONT OF YOU AND THE SEA IS BEHIND YOU. FIGHT
OR BE DRIVEN INTO THE SEA." THEY FOUGHT AND WON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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WILLIAM TELL

THE VILLAGE OF INTERLOCKEN WAS UNDER THE DOMINATION OF THE LORD
GESSLER. GESSLER WAS A VERY STERN AND CRUEL RULER. ONCE HE TOOK
OFF HIS HAT AND PLACED IT ON A STICK AND TOLD EVERYONE TO KNEEL AND
PAY HOMAGE TO IT AS IF IT WERE HIS OWN PERSON. TELL WAS A FARMER
OF THAT AREA, AND HE REFUSED TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE HAT. BECAUSE OF
THIS, GESSLER WAS INFURIATED AND TOLD TELL THAT UNLESS HE SHOT AN
APPLE OFF THE HEAD OF HIS SON, HE WOULD HAVE TO GO TO PRISON.
(TELL HAD THE REPUTATION OF BEING A VERY GOOD HUNTER.) TELL COULD
SEE NO WAY OUT, SO HE TOOK TWO ARROWS, BUT SLIPPED ONE INTO HIS
SHIRT. HE LOADED HIS CROSSBOW AND SHOT THE APPLE OFF HIS SON'S
HEAD. GESSLER THEN ASKED HIM WHY HE TOOK TWO ARROWS. TELL
ANSWERED, "IF I HAD MISSED THE APPLE, I SURELY WOULDN'T HAVE MISSED
YOU." FOR THIS REMARK, TELL WAS TAKEN PRISONER, BUT HIS SON WAS
RELEASED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TOLD ME THAT THE MOTIF OF "AN APPLE BEING SHOT OFF SOME-
ONE'S HEAD" WAS FOUND IN EARLIER GERMAN TRADITION. THESE GERMANS
WERE THE SAME TRIBE AS THOSE THAT SETTLED IN SWITZERLAND.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

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THE CHRISTMASTIME LIGHTS

JUST BEFORE THE RECENT POWER BLACKOUT IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS, A VOICE
WAS HEARD TO SAY, "WAIT A MINUTE, LADY BIRD, WHILE I TEST THE
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS."

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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APPLE ORCHARDS

IN MILFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, WE LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT OUR ABUNDANT
APPLE ORCHARDS WERE PLANTED BY JOHNNY APPLESEED. THOUGH THIS IS
A LEGEND, IT MIGHT HAVE SOME TRUTH, SINCE JOHNNY APPLESEED WAS
BORN AROUND LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS, WHICH IS NOT TOO FAR FROM
MILFORD.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Where learned: NEW HAMPSHIRE ; MILFORD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

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LEGEND

THERE ONCE WAS A PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR WHO GAVE A FINAL EXAM ON
WHICH THERE WAS ONLY ONE QUESTION: "WHY?" AND THE ONLY STUDENT
WHO GOT AN "A" ON THAT EXAM WAS THE ONE WHO ANSWERED, "WHY NOT?"

Submitter comment: I THINK THAT THE INFORMANT BELIEVED THIS STORY, BUT I HAVE HEARD
IT BEFORE AND I AM PRETTY SURE THAT IT IS PART OF THE FOLKLORE OF
ACADEME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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EAST INDIAN LEGEND: BHASKARA AND LILAVATI

LONG AGO, A BRILLIANT MAN NAMED BHASKARA LIVED IN INDIA. HE HAD
BUT ONE DAUGHTER AND HER NAME WAS LILAVATI. THE MAN WAS AN
ASTROLOGER AND KNEW THAT ALL THINGS ARE CONTROLLED BY THE STARS.
BY THE PROPER CALCULATIONS, HE DECIDED THAT THERE WAS ONLY ONE
MOMENT IN HIS DAUGHTER'S LIFE IN WHICH SHE COULD BE MARRIED THAT
WOULD INSURE HER HAPPINESS. THUS BHASKARA CONSTRUCTED A BARREL
FROM WHICH WATER WOULD FLOW FROM A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM. WHEN THE
BARREL WAS EMPTY, THE WEDDING HAD TO COMMENCE.
HOWEVER, LILAVATI WAS OVERCOME WITH CURIOSITY AT THIS CONTRAPTION
THAT HER FATHER HAD CONSTRUCTED. WHILE SHE WS PEERING OVER THE
EDGE OF THE BARREL, A TINY PEARL FELL FROM HER NECKLACE AND BLOCKED
THE APERTURE.
OF COURSE, AS A RESULT, THE SCHEDULED WEDDING WAS POSTPONED BY
BHASKARA UNTIL THE BARREL WAS EMPTY. THE PEARL WAS DISCOVERED,
BUT ONLY AFTER THE EXACT MOMENT HAD ALREADY PASSED.
BHASKARA WAS DEEPLY SADDENED AND VOWED TO USE HIS MIND TO DO
SOMETHING THAT WOULD FOREVER REMIND THE WORLD OF HIS DAUGHTER.
HE DEVELOPED THE BEGINNINGS OF WHAT LATER DEVELOPED INTO
MATHEMATICS. HE NAMED HIS SYSTEM LILAVATI, AFTER HIS DAUGHTER,
AND THIS IS THE NAME APPLIED TO MATHEMATICS IN INDIA TO THIS DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

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TALL TALE: JOHN MUSKOVICH (PRONOUNCED MUS-KOH'-VICH)

DID I EVER TELL YOU THE STORY OF THE GREATEST AMERICAN--JOHN
MUSKOVICH? ONE DAY JOHN WAS SITTING AT THE LOCAL BAR IN MINOOKA,
PENNSYLVANIA WHEN THE GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA, MILTON SCHAPP, WAS
ON TELEVISION. JOHN TURNED TO HIS BUDDY AND SAYS, "HEY, THERE'S
MY BUDDY MILTY; ME AND MILT HAVE BEEN FRIENDS FOR A LONG TIME."
HIS BUDDY RESPONDS, "ARE YOU TELLING ME YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH THE
GOVERNOR OF OUR ILLUSTRIOUS STATE?" TO WHICH JOHN REPLIES,
"YEAH." HIS BUDDY SAYS, "WELL, I'LL BET YOU TEN DOLLARS THAT YOU
DON'T REALLY KNOW THE GOVERNOR." SO THAT AFTERNOON THE TWO GUYS
GOT INTO THE CAR AND WENT OFF TO HARRISBURG. SOON AFTER THEY
WALKED INTO THE CAPITAL BUILDING, NONE OTHER THAN MILTON SCHAPP
CAME WALKING DOWN THE HALL. AS SOON AS SCHAPP SAW JOHN HE SAYS,
"JOHN MUSKOVICH, HOW YA DOIN'. LONG TIME . . . ." SO JOHN WON
THE TEN DOLLARS.
THE NEXT DAY JOHN AND HIS BUDDY WRE BACK IN MINOOKA WATCHING THE
TELEVISION WHEN PRESIDENT NIXON CAME ON. JOHN IMMEDIATELY SAYS,
"HEY, THERE'S MY BUDDY TRICKY DICK." HIS BUDDY SAYS, "WAIT A
MINUTE. YESTERDAY YOU SAID YOU KNEW THE GOVERNOR, NOW YOU SAY
YOU KNOW THE PRESIDENT. I'LL BET YOU $100 THAT YOU DON'T KNOW
THE PRESIDENT." AND THE NEXT MORNING THE TWO WERE OFF TO WASHING-
TON, D.C. THEY WERE WALKING OUTSIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND PAT
NIXON JUST HAPPENED TO BE OUT ON THE LAWNS AND SHE IMMEDIATELY
SPOTS JOHN AND SAYS, "JOHN MUSKOVICH! HOW ARE YOU? IT'S BEEN A
LONG TIME. DICK WILL BE SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU." AND JOHN WON THE
$100.
ABOUT A WEEK LATER BACK AT THE MINOOKA BAR, THE TWO MEN WERE TALK-
ING AND JOHN'S BUDDY SAID, "LAST WEEK YOU SAID YOU KNEW THE GOVER-
NOR AND THEN THE PRESIDENT; I BET THE NEXT THING YOU'LL SAY IS
THAT YOU KNOW THE POPE!" TO WHICH JOHN REPLIES, "HEY, ME AND PAUL
BEEN FRIENDS FOR A LONG TIME." HIS BUDDY SAYS, "OKAY, I'LL BET
YOU $1,000 YOU DON'T KNOW THE POPE." AND THE NEXT DAY THE TWO ARE
ON A PLANE HEADED FOR THE VATICAN. WHEN THEY GET THERE IT JUST
HAPPENED THAT THE POPE WAS HAVING AN AUDIENCE WITH THE PUBLIC THAT
AFTERNOON. JOHN DECIDED TO LEAVE HIS BUDDY IN THE CROWD AND
HEADED IN TO SEE THE POPE HIMSELF. JUST AFTER JOHN WALKS OUT ON
THE BALCONY WITH THE POPE, THERE'S A BIG COMMOTION IN THE CROWD AND
JOHN SEES THAT HIS BUDDY HAD PASSED OUT. JOHN COMES RUNNING DOWN
AND GETS OVER TO HIS BUDDY AND SAYS, "HEY, WHAT HAPPENED?" HIS
BUDDY REPLIES,"THERE WERE THESE TWO NUNS NEXT TO ME AND ONE SAID
TO THE OTHER, 'WHO'S THAT UP THERE WITH JOHN MUSKOVICH?'"

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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A TALL TALE

THEN THERE WAS THE TIME THAT PAUL BUNYAN WENT HUNTING. HE WAS
THE SUREST SHOT AND THE FASTEST RUNNER THAT EVER WADED ACROSS
THE MISSISSIPPI. THEY STILL TALK OF IT OUT IN THE NORTHWEST.
WELL, PAUL SIGHTED A BIG BUCK A MILE AWAY; IT WAS STANDING ON
THE EDGE OF A CLIFF. PAUL KNEW THAT IF HE SHOT HIM HE WOULD FALL
OFF THE CLIFF. SO PAUL PULLED THE TRIGGER--AND AS SOON AS THE
BULLET LEFT THE GUN HE RAN TO WHERE THE BUCK WAS STANDING. HE
RAN SO FAST THAT HE GOT THERE AHEAD OF THE SHOT AND HAD TO DUCK
HIS HEAD TO LET THE BULLET GO BY. WELL SIR, THAT BUCK WAS KILLED
ALL RIGHT. BUT NOT BY THE BULLET. WHEN HE SAW PAUL STANDING
THERE, HE WAS JUST SCARED TO DEATH. IT DIED WITHOUT THE SHOT
EVER REACHING IT.
YOU KNOW THAT'S HOW THINGS HAPPEN IN THE PAUL BUNYAN COUNTRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Abnormal in size
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Angel

View just this record

A TALL TALE

DID YOU EVER HEAR OF THE HOUSE THAT PAUL BUNYAN BUILT IN THE
NORTH WOODS?
IT WAS SO HIGH THAT HE HAD TO PUT THE LAST FIVE STORIES ON
HINGES TO LET THE MOON GO BY.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Abnormal in size
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Moon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale

Date learned: 06-00-1964

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THE LEGEND OF THE LESZEKS AND POPIELS

AFTER THE DEATH OF WANDA, THE LEGENDARY HEROINE AND RULER OF
CRACOW, THERE RULED A GROUP OF TWELVE PALATINES. THEY FEARED
THAT SOME ENEMY WAS APPROACHING FROM RUMORS THAT WERE GOING AROUND
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. THE ENEMY WAS SCARED OFF BY THE FORESIGHT
AND INGENUITY OF A YOUNG GOLDSMITH, LESZEK.
ON THE BUSHES AND TREES HE HUNG UP THE SHIELDS, SHINY ONES, AND
HELMETS OF THE ARMY. WHEN THE ENEMY SAW THE MULTITUDE OF THESE
SHIELDS AND HELMETS FROM FAR OFF, THEY QUICKLY LEFT, AFRAID OF
THE "LARGE ARMY" THAT AWAITED THEM. ABOUT 760 A.D. LESZEK BEGAN
HIS REIGN. HE IS ALSO KNOWN AS PRZEMYSTAIN, "AN INGENIOUS
PERSON."
WHEN LESZEK DIED, HE LEFT NO SON. THE KINGDOM, THEREFORE, HELD
A HORSE RACE TO SEE WHO WOULD BE THE NEXT RULER. THERE WERE
FIFTEEN OR SO BRAVE VOLUNTEERS. ONE SCHEMING PARTICIPANT COVERED
THE ROAD OF THE RACE WITH NAILS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE. HE
DREW HIMSELF A PATH IN THE SAND SO THAT HE COULD FOLLOW WITHOUT
HURTING HIS OWN HORSE. ANOTHER PARTICIPANT DISCOVERED THE TRICK
AND PUT IRON HORSE SHOES ON HIS OWN HORSE. HE WON THE RACE AND
BECAME LESZEK II.
AFTER SEVERAL RULERS CAME POPIEL I WHO TRANSFERRED THE CAPITOL
OF POLAND FROM CRACOW TO GNIEZNO, FROM WHICH THE KINGDOM ORIGINA-
TED. HE THEN TRANSFERRED, IT IS SAID, TO THE CITY OF KRUSZWICZ
NEAR THE LAKE OF GOPLO. IT WAS HIS SON, POPIEL II, WHO WAS A
VERY GLUTTONOUS AND WEAK CHARACTER. IT IS SAID THAT HE WAS BALD
AND HAD A THICK BEARD CALLED "CHWOSTEK." HE HAD A GERMAN WIFE
WHO WAS SAID TO BE WICKED AND CRUEL, AND WHO TEMPTED HER HUSBAND
OFTEN TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SITUATIONS AND DO WRONG.
IT WAS A CUSTOM AMONG THE SLAVS TO NAME THEIR SONS AFTER THEIR
SEVENTH BIRTHDAY. HIS HAIR WAS THEN CUT FOR THE FIRST TIME
AND A BIG FEAST WAS HELD WITH FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. POPIEL II
HELD SUCH A FEAST FOR HIS SON. MANY PEOPLE WERE INVITED.
AT THIS SAME TIME, TWO PILGRIMS CAME TO HIS CASTLE ASKING FOR
REFUGE, BUT POPIEL AND HIS WIFE ANGRILY CHASED THEM OUT. IN THE
EYES OF THE POLISH AND THE SLAVS IN GENERAL, SUCH BREAKING OF THE
LAWS OF HOSPITALITY WAS A SERIOUS CRIME. POPIEL SOON PAID FOR
IT.
IT IS SAID THAT THE TWO PILGRIMS WERE REALLY TWO ANGELS. OTHERS
SAY THEY WERE THE SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS ON A MISSION. BUT
THIS INCIDENT DID NOT CHANGE POPIEL. HE CONTINUED IN HIS DRUNKEN
REVELRIES AND CRIMES ONLY TO ESCAPE THE PANGS OF HIS GUILTY CON-
SCIENCE.
FINALLY, WITH COUNSEL OF HIS WIFE, HE HELD A FEAST FOR ALL HIS
RELATIVES IN ORDER TO "MAKE UP" FOR THE TIMES HE DID THEM WRONG.
HE REALLY BELIEVED THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE THE CAUSE OF HIS GUILTY
FEELINGS. AT THIS FEAST, HE POISONED EVERYONE.
IMMEDIATELY HIS PUNISHMENT FOLLOWED. FROM THE BODIES OF THE DEAD
CAME OUT HUNDREDS OF MICE. THESE MICE CHASED POPIEL AND HIS WIFE.
THEY TRIED TO HIDE IN A TOWER, BUT DID NOT SUCCEED AND WERE EATEN
UP BY THE MICE AS WELL AS WERE HIS PEOPLE. THIS TOWER, CALLED
"MICE TOWER" OR "THE TOWER OF POPIEL," STANDS IN THE CITY OF
KRUSZIVICA, POLAND.

Submitter comment: THESE LEGENDS I'VE KNOWN SINCE CHILDHOOD DAYS FROM MY PARENTS AS
WELL AS FROM MY LESSONS IN POLISH HISTORY I TOOK FROM MRS. HELEN
CHMIELEWSKI OF DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Angel
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ROMAN OBSERVATION:

THE ROMANS DISLIKE THE ORNATE AND OSTENTATIOUS "ALTAR OF THE
NATION" WHICH CONTAINS A MONUMENT TO VICTOR EMMANUAL II.
THEY SAY: "THE BEST VIEW OF THE CITY IS FROM THE TOP OF THIS
BUILDING, BECAUSE ONLY FROM THE TOP DO YOU NOT HAVE TO LOOK AT
THIS MONSTROSITY."

Where learned: ITALY ; ROME ; IN A LETTER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Monument

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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THE RED HAND OF THE O'NEILL'S

A LONG TIME AGO, THE KING OF IRELAND DIED. SO, THE CITIZENRY HAD
TO FIND A NEW KING. APPARENTLY THE SUCCESSOR WAS IN DISPUTE BETWEEN
2 MEN ONE OF THEM NOBLE NAMED O'NEILL. THE PEOPLE DEVISED A RACE,
WHERE THE FIRST MAN TO CROSS THE BODY OF WATER WOULD BECOME KING.
THE RACE BEGAN, BUT HUGE WAVES PREVENTED THEM FROM LANDING. THE
FUTURE KING WOULD HAVE TO TOUCH THE SHORE TO BECOME KING. THE
O'NEILL BEING THE CLEVER REALIZED HE NEEDED HIS RIGHT HAND TO RULE
SO, HE TOOK A SWORD AND CUT OFF HIS LEFT HAND, AND THREW IT ON
THE SHORE, THUS HE WAS THE FIRST MAN TO TOUCH SHORE AND BECAME KING.
THE RED HAND OF THE O'NEILL'S CAN STILL BE SEEN ON THE FAMILY COAT OF
ARMS

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 12-08-1972

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COW

AS THE COW SAID TO THE MAINE FARMER, 'THANKS FOR A WARM HAND
ON A COLD MORNING.'

Submitter comment: MR. MENZIES HEARD THE LATE JOHN F. KENNEDY USE THIS LINE TO OPEN
A SPEECH ON A COLD MORNING. HE WAS THANKING THE CROWD FOR THEIR
WARM WELCOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; CLIMATE ; POLITICS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

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LONGEVITY

ROCKERFELLER WENT TO A NATUREOPIDIST TO FIND OUT HOW TO LIVE LONGER -
TOLD HIM TO DRINK "MOTHER'S MILK". SO HE WENT TO ALL THE HOSPITALS
AND PAID $10.00 A QUART.

Where learned: DETROIT ; LAMAR BARBER COLLEGE ; WOODWARD AVE

Keyword(s): ROCKEFELLER

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-16-1965

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A VERY ANCIENT, ANCIENT ROMAN HISTORY PROFESSOR

WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS A STUDENT IN HISTORY AT WAYNE STATE, HE HAD AN
EXTREMELY OLD PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT HISTORY. MY HUSBAND STARTED
IT AS A JOKE, BUT HIS SAYING WOUND UP AS A KIND OF CAMPUS TALE
FOR THE MUCH REVERED PROFESSOR JOHANSON:
"PROFESSOR JOHANSON IS SO OLD THAT HIS NOTES ARE SIGNED BY
JULIUS CAESAR."

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MY HUSBAND IN 1958

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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KING MATTHIAS USED TO WALK MANY TIMES DISGUISED THROUGH HUNGARY
TO SEE IF LAW AND JUSTICE WERE PREVAILING. HE WENT DISGUISED ONE DAY
AS A POOR MAN TO BUDA BECAUSE HE HEARD THAT THE SUPREME JUDGE THERE
WAS A TYRANT. AS HE WAS WALKING ALONG SOME MEN YELLED, "HEY
BIG NOSE, COME HERE." SOME MEN GRABBED HIM AND TOLD HIM HE HAD TO
CHOP A HUGE PILE OF FIREWOOD ALONG WITH SOME OTHER MEN. THE WOOD
WAS FOR THE JUDGE'S FIREPLACE. SO MATTHIAS WORKED ALL DAY AND WHEN
NIGHT CAME HE GOT NO FOOD OR SALARY. THE NEXT DAY THE ROYAL
HERALDS ANNOUNCED THAT THE KING WAS ARRIVING IN TOWN. THE JUDGE
GAVE A BIG BANQUET FOR THE KING. AT THE BANQUET THE KING ASKED
ABOUT THE HUGE PILE OF FIREWOOD. THE JUDGE SAID, "THE PEOPLE DID IT
FOR LOVE." SO THE KING GATHERED EVERYBODY AROUND AND MADE SOME
MEN PULL DOWN THE PILE OF LOGS. THREE OF THE LOGS HAD THE
NAME MATTYS CUT ON THEM. THE KING TOLD EVERYONE HOW HE HAD BEEN
FORCED TO WORK AND RECEIVED ONLY THREE LASHES AS PAYMENT. FOR
PUNISHMENT HE TOOK THE JUDGE'S HOME AND MADE IT THE PRISON FOR THE
CITY. THE KING LET THE OTHER MEN GO FREE AFTER THEY HAD PLEADED WITH
HIM.

Submitter comment: DR. DAMIN HEARD THIS STORY IN HUNGARY WHERE MATTYS IS ONE OF THE MOST
BELOVED RULERS OF HUNGARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 01-00-1964

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THE LEGEND OF PIAST AND RZEPICHA

IT IS SAID THAT IN PAGAN TIMES IN POLAND UNDER THE RULE OF
POPIEL II, ABOUT 840, THERE LIVED A WHEELWRIGHT AND HIS WIFE
RZEPICHA. THEY HAD A SON. AT THE AGE OF SEVEN, AS THE CUSTOM
WAS, HE WAS TO HAVE HIS HAIR CUT FOR THE FIRST TIME. A FEAST
USUALLY FOLLOWED THIS CEREMONY. SINCE THE COUPLE WAS POOR, THEY
ONLY HAD ONE PIG AND A PITCHER OF BEER TO SERVE. TO THEIR DOOR
CAME TWO PILGRIMS SEEKING REFUGE. THESE PILGRIMS HAD JUST
BEEN REFUSED AT THE CASTLE OF THE WICKED RULER, POPIEL. THE POOR
COUPLE INVITED THEM GRACIOUSLY. THE WIFE FEARED THAT THERE WASN'T
ENOUGH FOOD, BUT, IT IS SAID, THAT THE TWO MEN BLESSED THE FOOD
AND MULTIPLIED IT TO AN UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNT. THE NEWS OF THIS
HAPPENING IMMEDIATELY SPREAD IN THE VILLAGE. EVERYONE CAME TO SEE
THE TWO MEN IN AWE. PIAST GAVE THEM THE HONOR OF CUTTING HIS
SON'S HAIR. THEY NAMED THE BOY ZIEMOWIT, MEANING "ONE WHO
WILL RULE ON EARTH." THE NAME WAS QUITE APPROPRIATE BECAUSE IN
TIME THE RULER, POPIEL, DIED AND PIAST WAS UNANIMOUSLY ELECTED
RULER. HE LIVED NEARLY 120 YEARS, IT IS SAID, AND DURING THIS
TIME HE LET HIS SON TAKE OVER. ZIEMOWIT SUCCEEDED TO UNITE
MANY SLOVIC TRIBES TO FORM A LARGE POLAND. HE HELD A FRIENDLY
CONTACT WITH THE CZECHS AND THUS PERMITTED THE SPREAD OF
CHRISTIANITY INTO HIS KINGDOM. SAINTS CYRIL AND METHADIAIS
ARE SAID TO HAVE TAUGHT AND CONVERTED AT THIS TIME. ZIEMOWIT'S
SON DID MORE TO FURTHER UNITE AND ENLARGE POLAND UP TO THE BALTIC
SEA. HIS GRANDSON, MIESZKO, WAS BORN BLIND. IT IS SAID THAT
AT MIESZKO'S SEVENTH BIRTHDAY, WHEN HIS HAIR WAS CUT, HE SAW
FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE PAGAN PRIESTS INTERPRETED THIS HAPPENING
AS AN OMEN THAT POLAND WOULD SOON SEE A NEW RAY OF LIGHT. UNDER
THE REIGN OF MIESZKO, POLAND THUS DID SEE A NEW RAY OF LIGHT,
AS THE NATION ACCEPTED CHRISTIANITY OFFICIALLY AND ENTERED THE
HISTORY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.

Submitter comment: THIS INFORMANTION AND LEGEND I'VE KNOWN SINCE CHILDHOOD FROM
MY PARENTS AND MY POLISH HISTORY INSTRUCTOR, MRS HELEN
CHOMIELEWSKI OF DETROIT.

Data entry tech comment: JESUS' BREAD AND FISH MIRACLE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

View just this record

LEGEND AT ST. MARY'S COLLEGE

IT IS CLAIMED BY THE OLD NUNS AT ST. MARY'S COLLEGE, NOTRE DAME,
IND., THAT GENERAL GRANT SENT HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTERS THERE FOR
SAFETY'S SAKE DURING THE CIVIL WAR. ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS IS BURIED
THERE ON THE GROUNDS, BUT NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW WHERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): PRESERVATION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

View just this record

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, WHEN HE VISITED
AUSTRALIA, WAS SAID TO BE ABLE TO SPIT
FARTHER THAN ANYONE IN THE COUNTRY.

Submitter comment: AN AUSTRALIAN TOLD HIM THIS

Where learned: AUSTRALIA ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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DANIEL BOONE LEGEND

ONE DAY DAN'L BOONE WAS GOING THROUGH THE FOREST AND HE CAME UPON A
HUGE LION. DAN'L'S GUN WOULDN'T WORK AND THAT LION WAS COMING RIGHT
FOR HIM. DAN'L THROWED DOWN HIS GUN AND WAITED. AND WHEN THAT
MOUNTAIN LION JUMPED AT HIM, DAN'L PUSHED HIS FIST DOWN INTO THE
LION'S MOUTH, PUSHED IT RIGHT DOWN TO THAT LION'S TAIL AND GRABBED
HOLD AND PULLED THAT LION INSIDE OUT.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO THE INFORMANT BY HIS UNCLE ALEX, WHO HUNTED IN PENNSYLVANIA
AND NORTHERN MICHIGAN, BUT LIVED IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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