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SNAKE LEGEND

IN THE MOUNTAINS OF ITALY, THERE WERE MANY MAGICAL GOLDEN SNAKES.
THESE SNAKES WOULD HIDE THEMSELVES FROM THE OTHER ANIMALS. AS WELL A
FROM PEOPLE. ONLY A VERY LUCKY PERSON WILL EVER SEE ONE. HOWEVER, IF
A PERSON IS LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE ONE OF THESE SNAKES, THEN HE SHOULD
TALK TO IT AND NOT BE AFRAID. THE SNAKE WILL THEN DISAPPEAR. BUT
LEAVE BEHIND HIS GOLDEN SKIN. THIS SKIN IS WORTH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
NOWADAYS, YOU WON'T FIND BUT A FEW OF THESE SNAKES LIVING BECAUSE
MANY STRANGERS WHO HAVE COME TO THE MOUNTAINS HAVE FRIGHTENED THEM
AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; HISTORICAL

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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ANIMAL RHYME

THE ELEPHANT IS A PRETTY BIRD,
IT FLITS FROM BOUGH TO BOUGH.
IT BUILDS ITS NEST IN A RHUBARB TREE
AND WHISTLES LIKE A COW.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; OAKVILLE

Keyword(s): HUMOR ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative C820.442

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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MILK SNAKE FABLE

IN MEXICO, THE MYTH IS EVEN WILDER. THERE THEY BELIEVE THAT THE MILK
SNAKE LURKS IN HOUSES TO STEAL THE MILK FROM EXPECTANT MOTHERS.

Data entry tech comment: THERE ARE TWO MORE FROM THE SAME SOURCE.

Where learned: THE DETROIT NEWS MAGAZINE ; MILK

Keyword(s): REPTILES

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 02-26-1967

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LEGEND

A LITTLE BOY WHOSE MOTHER WAS SICK DECIDED TO SELL A PET HEN. ON THE
WAY HE WAS STOPPED, ROBBED AND BEATEN. THE HEN CACKLED, BIT AND
STRUGGLED UNTIL SHE FINALLY ESCAPED. SHE THEN RETURNED TO HER
UNCONSCIOUS MASTER. THEN SHE WENT AND MADE SO MUCH NOISE THAT SHE
ATTRACTED ATTENTION. PEOPLE CAME TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS WRONG, FOUND
THE BOY AND SAVED HIS LIFE.

Submitter comment: A GIRL FROM SANTO DOMINGO TELLS THIS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 11-01-1967

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I WAS READING THE DETROIT NEWS THE OTHER DAY WHEN I
CAME ACROSS THIS STORY, I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT.
SOME LADY FROM THE STATES WAS VACATIONING IN MEXICO A FEW
WEEKS AGO, WHILE SHE WAS SITTING IN THE PARK A SMALL DOG
CAME UP AND RAN BETWEEN HER LEGS, SHE BENT DOWN AND PETTED
THE DOG AND GAVE IT A PIECE OF HER HOT DOG. THE NEXT DAY SHE
WENT BACK TO THE PARK AND THE LITTLE DOG CAME BACK
ONCE AGAIN. ON THIS VISIT SHE DECIDED TO TAKE THE DOG
BACK TO THE STATES WITH HER, KNOWING SHE COULD NOT DO
THIS SHE HID THE DOG IN HER SUITCASE. A FEW DAYS AFTER SHE
HAD BEEN BACK IN THE STATES SHE WENT OUT SHOPPONG LEAVING
HER NEW DOG HOME WITH THE DOG AND CAT SHE ALREADY
HAD. WHEN SHE CAME HOME FROM HER SHOPPING TRIP SHE
FOUND HER CAT DEAD AND HER OTHER DOG HALF DEAD.
HYSTERICAL, SHE GRABBED THE SMALL MEXICAN DOG AND RAN
TO THE VETS. AFTER EXAMINING THE DOG THE VET TOLD HER
HER NEW PET WAS NOT A DOG BUT A LONG HAIRED RAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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URBAN BELIEF TALE--LADY WITH SPIDER BITE

ONE DAY, A LADY WAS WORKING AT FARMER JACKS. SHE WAS GIVEN THE
TASK OF PUTTING CRATES ON THE SHELVES. AS SHE WAS ARRANGING A
CRATE, SHE GOT BIT ON THE FOREHEAD BY A SPIDER. THE LADY THOUGHT
NOTHING OF IT AND CONTINUED WORKING. A WEEK LATER HER FOREHEAD
HAD A HUGE BUMP ON IT ABOUT THE SIZE OF A GOLFBALL. AS THE LADY
WAS ARRANGING THE CRATES AGAIN, ONE SLIPPED AND HIT HER RIGHT
ON HER BUMP ON HER FOREHEAD. WHEN THIS HAPPENED, A MILLION
LITTLE SPIDERS CAME CRAWLING OUT OF THE BUMP. TERRIFIED, THE
LADY FAINTED AND HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY WAS WIDESPREAD IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. EVERYONE HAS
HEARD ABOUT IT AND BELIEVES IT TO BE TRUE.

James Callow comment: FARMER JACKS IS A GROCERY STORE CHAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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My aunt heard this story from a friend whose
friend had it happen to her. She had gone to
a large nursery and bought a cactus that was
about two or three feet tall. She had just had
a baby and was home alone all day caring for it.
When she sat down to rest she thought she saw the
the cactus moving a little. When she told her
husband he just figured that she was fatigued from
taking care of the baby all day. One day it really
started to bother her so she called the store.
The manager got on the phone and told her not to
panic but to put the cactus in a dark closet and
to leave the house until he arrived. A few minutes
later, they arrived, went into the house, covered
it up and carried it to a truck. The manager was
also sending an exterminator to the house.
Apparently a whole shipment of cactuses from the
southwest had eggs laid in them by tarantulas.
When the sun warmed up the cactus, the eggs would
begin to hatch and that's what gave the cactus the
appearance of moving. If they don't eat their way
out, the cactus will literally explode from the
pressure created by all the baby tarantulas inside.

Submitter comment: I thought that this story was true, but in the
last couple years I've heard other people tell
similar stories. I think my aunt also thought it
was true.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER HILLS

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00001980S

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My aunt, who lived in the hills of Tennessee in a small shack,
was what might be called a typical hillbilly. It was a very
cold winter and they only had a small stove to warm the cabin.
Every night, while sleeping on her back, she would feel a very
warm heavy sensation on her chest. One day after a week or so
of this same feeling every night she was stripping the bed to
wash her sheets. When she took off the bottom sheet she found
there was snakes living there. They would huddle to her chest
at night for warmth.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; Sparta

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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Among the landscapers who plow snow in the winter
there is a legend of the snow snakes. You never see or hear
them but you know when they've bit you. They slip up your
pant leg and bite you in the balls. Then you start to shake
and hurt all over like you're on the verge of gettin'
frostbite. Snow snakes commonly live in the coldest places
especially where the wind is the fiercest.

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 00001960ca

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When I went to camp with my school one summer I was told this
"true" story. Several years earlier one of the camp counselors
went swimming in the river. Unknown to her a leech planted its
eggs in her scalp. A few weeks later as she was combing her hair
the eggs broke open and hundreds of little leeches slithered
down her face. She's been in an asylum ever since.

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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Entry filtered.

There was a man who urined in the woods quite often. A
friend told him that if he kept it up the snakes would become
very mad with him and trace his scent one day. Later as the days
went by the man decided to urine on a rock; to the man this was a
lot of fun.
While wetting the rock a snake bit him on his penis and the man
began to panic, fearing that he would die. His friend went for
help to the nearest doctor. He returned to the man in pain and
told him that the doctor's only cure for him to live would be to
suck the poison from his penis. They both looked at each other
and the friend told him, "Well my friend I told you to stop
urining out in the woods because the snakes didn't like it, so I
guess the snakes have won because you will have to die!"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

James Callow Keyword(s): Urinated urinating

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 02-10-1992

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BELCHEWELL SOPHIE

THE INFORMANT CAN DATE THIS STORY IN HIS FAMILY AT LEAST
AS FAR BACK AS 1820.
ONCE THERE WAS A COW WHO HAD A PARTICULARLY POPULAR CALF,
LOVED BY ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS. THIS CALF'S NAME WAS
BELCHEWELL SOPHIE, AND EVERY EVENING AT DINNERTIME, THE
MOTHER COW WOULD CALL OUT:BELCHEWELL SOPHIE
COME GET YOUR INDIA LINEN
COME GET YOUR CALICO
AND THE CALF WOULD COME FOR HER DINNER. ONE NIGHT WHEN
THE MOTHER COW CALLED, BELCHEWELL SOPHIE DIDN'T COME.
NOR DID SHE COME HOME THE NEXT DAY. BY THIS TIME, THE
MOTHER WAS SURE SHE HAD BEEN EATEN BY ONE OF THE OTHER
ANIMALS, SO A CONCLAVE OF ALL THE ANIMALS WAS CALLED TO
DECIDE HOW TO FIND THE CULPRIT. FINALLY, IT WAS DECIDED
THAT THEY WOULD BUILD A BONFIRE AND ASK ALL THE ANIMALS
TO JUMP OVER IT, THE IDEA BEING THAT ANY ANIMAL WHO HAD
EATEN AS MUCH AS A CALF WOULD BE TOO FAT TO MAKE IT OVER
THE FIRE. SO THE FIRE WAS BUILT, AND THE ANIMALS LINED UP
TO JUMP OVER. THE RABBIT WAS FIRST AND AS HE JUMPED, HE SANG

(MUSIC WRITTEN ON THE 5 X 8 CARD):

I AIN'T NO LIAR AND I AINT NO ROGUE;
I DIDN'T EAT BELCHEWELL SOPHIE SO JUMP OVER ITT
AND OVER HE WENT. ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS FOLLOWED HIM
SINGING THE SAME SONG, EXCEPT THE WOLF. HE SLUNK IN THE
SHADOWS AND REFUSED TO JUMP. FINALLY WHEN HE HAD
EXHAUSTED THE PATIENCE OF THE OTHERS, HE APPROACHED
THE FIRE AND SANG:

(MUSIC ON THE 5 X 8 CARD)

I AM A LIAR AND I AM A ROGUE;
I DID EAT BELCHEWELL SOPHIE SO JUMP IN IT.
SO HE JUMPED INTO THE FIRE AND WAS BURNED UP.
(MUSIC WRITTEN ON 5 X 8 CARD)

James Callow comment: MUSIC ON THE 5 X 8 CARD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): CANTE FABLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 08-12-1968

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REGIONAL STORY

THERE'S A RIVER, WELL, CANAL, I GUESS YOU'D CALL IT,
THAT CONNECTS THE HUDSON AND HARLEM RIVERS IN UPPER
MANHATTAN, AND EVEN THOUGH IT'S WIDER THAN THE
CUMBERLAND (RIVER), IT'S CALLED A CREEK, SPUYTENDYVIL
(SPITE-IN-DIE-VAL) CREEK. THE STORY GOES THAT WHEN
THE DUTCH SETTLED NEW YORK, THERE WAS A SUPERSTITION
THAT THE DEVIL LIVED IN THAT CREEK IN THE FORM OF A
GIANT SEA TURTLE, AND ALTHOUGH A STORM HAD WASHED THE
BRIDGE AWAY, THE LEADER OF THE DUTCH SAID THAT HE WOULD
SWIM THE CREEK "SPUYTENDYVIL," (IN SPITE OF THE DEVIL).
HE DID AND SUPPOSEDLY WAS TAKEN BY THIS TURTLE AND WAS
NEVER SEEN AGAIN. EVEN TODAY, THAT RIVER IS CALLED OLD
SPUYTENDYVIL CREEK.

Where learned: NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Still water Small body. Lake, pond....

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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WHY THE LIZARD NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW

ONCE THERE WAS A LIZARD WHO HEARD A BULL BELLOW.
THIS SEEMED TO BE A FINE THING TO DO, SO HE
DECIDED TO ASK THE BULL TO TEACH HIM. THE BULL
WAS VERY FLATTERED AND DECIDED TO GO ABOUT TEACHING
THE LIZARD IN A VERY CAREFUL WAY. "FIRST," THE BULL
SAID, "YOU MUST HUMP UP YOUR BACK LIKE THIS," AND HE
SHOWED HIM. "OH, YES," SAID THE LIZARD, "I SEE NOW."
THANK YOU VERY MUCH."
SO THE LIZARD WENT AROUND FROM THEN ON HUMPING UP HIS
BACK, AND HE NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A STORY WHICH MY MOTHER TOLD ME WHEN I WAS
A SMALL GIRL. HER GRANDMOTHER TOLD IT TO HER IN
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL. I
RECORDED IT JULY 23, 1968, IN NASHVILLE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT ANIMALS

A DOG WILL TURN OUT TO BE A GOOD ONE IF HE IS NAMED AFTER A
BAD PERSON.

Where learned: ALABAMA ; DOUBLE SPRINGS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 04-01-1972

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ST. PATRICK LEGEND

ONE DAY, ST. PATRICK STUCK HIS STAFF INTO THE GROUND AND
IT GREW INTO A TREE. (PROBABLY A BLACK THORN TREE.)
HE ALSO CHASED ALL THE SNAKES OUT OF IRELAND AND TO THIS
DAY THERE AREN'T ANY SNAKES IN THE WHOLE OF IRELAND.

Submitter comment: MRS. MC CLOSKEY HEARD THIS WHEN SHE LIVED IN BELFAST,
IRELAND, ABOUT 1910.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; IRELAND ; BELFAST

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Plant Life
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 01-13-1964 ; 00-00-1910

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SNAKE AND BABY

INFORMANT'S MOTHER'S BROTHER WAS PLAYING BESIDE THE FIREPLACE IN THEIR COUNTRY HOME.
THIS WAS SOMETHING HE WAS ACCUSTOMED TO DOING EVERY DAY. EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS PLAYING ALONE.
ONE DAY HIS MOTHER SAW A BLACK SNAKE STICKING HIS HEAD OUT OF A CRACK IN THE FIREPLACE. THEN
SHE REALIZED HE WAS NOT PLAYING ALONE. THE BOY WOULD FEED THE SNAKE EVERY DAY. THE SNAKE WAS
HER SON'S PLAYMATE.

Submitter comment: THIS REALLY HAPPENED TO INFORMANT'S UNCLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 10-07-1971

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VIPER SNAKE

INFORMANT TOLD ME OF A LOCAL SNAKE SHE REMEMBERED FROM
HER CHILDHOOD, WHICH HAD IMPRESSED HER. THIS SNAKE,
CALLED THE SPREADING VIPER, WOULD BE THE OBJECT OF
SEVERAL SNAKE HUNTS IN HER HOME STATE OF KENTUCKY.
THE SNAKE WAS DESCRIBED AS LOOKING "LIKE A LONG, LONG,
STICK." WHEN THE SNAKE GOT NERVOUS OR EXCITED, ITS
BODY WOULD SWELL UP TWO OR THREE INCHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 11-29-1971

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THE FIRST THUNDER MEANT THE SNAKES WERE AWAKE. SO
YOU WATCHED FOR SNAKES AFTER THE FIRST THUNDER IN
THE SPRING.

Submitter comment: BOTH HELD THIS IN POPULAR TRADITION IN THEIR HOMES
IN GLOUCESTER AND HOLLISTER, OHIO

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; OHIO ; DETROIT ; GLOUCESTER ; HOLLISTER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 05-11-1965

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RATTLESNAKE ON A TEXAS PLATEAU

A FEW YEARS AGO, I WAS DRIVING A GROUP OF BOYS ON A TRIP DOWN TO
MEXICO CITY, AND ONE DAY I HAD DRIVEN ABOUT TWO HUNDRED MILES

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT HIGH SCHOOL ; HISTORY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 09-00-1968

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