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BE PREPARED

ONE DAY A TOURIST WAS WALKING ALONG THE SHORES OF A LAKE IN
IRELAND. HE CAME UPON AN OLD CASTLE AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN A
GARDEN. THE FRIENDLY GARDENER LET THE TOURIST IN AND SHOWED
HIM AROUND THE GROUNDS WHICH THE OLD MAN KEPT IN PERFECT ORDER.
THE TOURIST WONDERED WHEN THE OWNER HAD LAST BEEN THERE.
"TWELVE YEARS AGO."
"DOES HE EVER WRITE TO YOU?"
"NO."
"FROM WHOM DO YOU GET YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?"
"FROM HIS AGENT."
"DOES HE COME?"
"NEVER."
"WHO, THEN, COMES HERE?"
"I AM ALWAYS ALONE. ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE A TOURIST COMES."
"BUT YOU KEEP THIS GARDEN IN SUCH FINE CONDITION, JUST AS THOUGH
YOU EXPECT YOUR MASTER TO COME HERE TOMORROW."
THE OLD MAN PROMPTLY REPLIED: "TODAY, SIR, TODAY!"

Submitter comment: TO ENFORCE HER ADVICE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, THE INFORMANT TELLS
THIS LITTLE STORY:
INFORMANT IS A NATIVE OF IRELAND AND SHE BELIEVES THAT SHE HEARD
IT AS A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SHE DIDN'T HEAR
IT UNTIL SHE CAME TO BOSTON AT THE AGE OF 14.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-04-1967

View just this record

A POLISH TALE

THERE IS POLISH TALE THAT TELLS ABOUT A PEASANT WHO WALKS ALL
THE WAY FROM POSNAN TO KOZIMIERZ, POLAND, WHERE THE KING
(KAZIMIERZ THE GREAT, 1300'S) RESIDED. THE PEASANT WANTS TO
COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LORD OF HIS MANOR WHO HAD KIDNAPPED HIS
WIFE RIGHT FROM THE WEDDING PROCESSION ON THE ROAD. HE HADN'T
SEEN HER SINCE THE KIDNAPPING.
WHEN THE PEASANT REACHES KOZIMIERZ, HE STOPS AT THE MARKET PLACE
WELL TO REST. AMONG THE MERCHANTS IN THE CROWD IS THE KING, WHO
STOPS AND QUESTIONS THE PEASANT. HE THEN EXPLAINS HIS COMPLAINT
AND PURPOSE. THE KING TAKES HIM TO THE CHURCH FOR THE NIGHT
WHERE THE PRIEST HAS THE PEASANT DRAW HIS COMPLAINT ON PAPER, AS
ALL COMPLAINTS WOULD BE ATTENDED TO THE NEXT DAY BY THE KING AND
VISITING LORDS. THE PEASANT DRAWS THE ROAD AND THE MANOR AROUND
IT.
AT THE POINT WHERE THE WIFE WAS TAKEN, THE PRIEST DREW A SKULL.
MEANWHILE, THE KING WAS RETURNING TO HIS CASTLE DOWN THE ROAD.
ON THIS SAME ROAD WAS ARRIVING THE LORD OF THE MANOR IN POZNAN
TO VISIT THE KING. HE APPROACHED WITH MUCH MUSIC AND FESTIVITY
IN ORDER TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION. ON THE ROAD NEAR THE CASTLE
THE LORD NOTICED IN THE DARK A FORM MOVING ALONG. THINKING IT
WAS SOME PEASANT IN THE WAY, HE CALLS THE PEDESTRIAN A BUM AND
WANTS TO HIT HIM. JUST THEN, THE FORM, WHO WAS REALLY THE KING,
ORDERS THE LORD TO STOP AND IDENTIFIES HIMSELF.
THE NEXT DAY THE COMPLAINTS WERE BEING EXAMINED BY THE KING AND
LORDS AND THE COMPLAINT OF THE PEASANT CAME UP. THE KING EX-
PLAINED THE PICTURE BY SAYING THAT A LORD HAD KILLED THE WIFE OF
A PEASANT ON THE ROAD, INDICATED BY THE SKULL. EVERYONE WAS
SHOCKED BY THE ACTION. THE KING ASKED EACH LORD WHAT PUNISHMENT
SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN FOR THE CRIME, AND WHEN HE CAME TO (THE)
GUILTY LORD, HE SAID THE PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE STARVATION. THE
KING THEN ANNOUNCED THAT THE LORD HAD COMMITTED (IT) HIMSELF, AND
THUS THE LORD WAS THROWN INTO THE DUNGEON BENEATH THE CASTLE TOWER
WITH ONLY SOME BREAD AND WATER, WHERE HE SOON DIED.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER REMEMBERS THIS TALE FROM HIS CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-22-1967

View just this record

ONCE THERE WAS AH...AH COLORED MAN, A WHITE MAN IN SLAVERY TIME.
HE HAD TWO NEGROES WORKING ON HIS PLANTATION. AND ONE DAY HE TOLD
HIM SAY LISTEN THERES A BEAR DOWN THERE IN THERE IN THAT BOTTOM
EATING MY CORN. SAY JOHN GO DOWN THERE AND BRING THAT BEAR UP
HERE. GOES DOWN THERE AND GET THAT BEAR AND BRING HIM ON UP HERE.
JOHN GOT OUT HE DID THAT MORNING EARLY THAT MORNING... WENT ON
DOWN THERE THERE IN THE BOTTOM HE DID AND HE SEEN THE BEAR. AND
THE BEAR HAD AN ARM OF CORN. SO HE TOLD HIM HEY PUT DOWN THAT
CORN. AND THE BEAR THROWD THE CORN DOWN AND GOT AFTER HIM AT
JOHN. JOHN JUST...HE WENT TO THE BARN. HE RAN JUST AS HARD AS
HE COULD UP TO THE HILL. TILL HE GOT TO THE BARN. HE WENT IN THE
BARN DOOR AND CLOSE...AND WENT ON DOWN TO THE FLOOR AND THE BEAR
COME ON IN THE BARN AND HE CLOSED IT AND COME ON THE OUTSIDE
AND CLOSED THE DOORS. OK, SAY, NOW HE WENT ON UP TO THE HOUSE, TO
OLE MASTER'S HOUSE, HE SAY. JOHN YOU GET THAT BEAR(?) / . SAY YEA, I
GOT THAT BEAR. SAY WHERE'S HE AT? HE UP THERE IN THE BARN. WELL,
YOU TAKE THIS KNIVE AND GO ON UP THERE AND KILL THE BEAR NOW.
JOHN SAY LISTEN BOSS, I WENT AND BROUGHT THE BEAR HERE WHY DON'T
YOU MAKE THE OTHER GUY KILL HIM. SAY YEA, MRS SAY, YEA. JOHN
DONE BROUGH THE BEAR HERE. LET THE OTHER FELLA KILL HIM. SO SLE
JOHN HE WENT IN DOWN THERE AND GOT ON TOP OF THE FENCE. AND THE
OTHER FELLA WHEN IN THE BARN WHERE THE BEAR WAS, AND OUT CAME
HIM AND THE BEAR. DOWN ACROSS THE FIELD HIM AND THE BEAR WENT.
AND HE GOT DOWN DOWN THERE IN THE FIELD A GOOD WAYS AND SAID AH
JOHN HOW DID YOU BRING THAT BEAR HERE? JUST LIKE HE GOT THE SON
OF A BITCH TO COME DOWN ACROSS THAT FIELD.

James Callow comment:

SOME SPELLING HAS BEEN CORRECTED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Fable ; Slave

James Callow Keyword(s): AN EPISODE ; CAPTURE BY ESCAPE, AS IN \"JACK AND THE VARMINTS\"

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 10-00-1974

View just this record

TOWN STORY

THIS INFORMANT SAID THAT IN HIS HOME TOWN, THEY OFTEN
TELL THE STORY OF A LITTLE BOY WHO WENT UP TO THE
TOP OF A MOUNTAIN TO GET SOME FIRE. THE WISE MAN
AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN ONLY LAUGHED AND SAID
THAT THE LITTLE BOY HAD NO WAY OF CARRYING IT. THE
BOY SAID YES THAT HE DID HAVE A METHOD. THE MAN
THEN VOLUNTEERED THE FIRE, THINKING THAT THE BOY WAS
STUPID. THE BOY THEN PUT SOME COLD ASHES IN HIS HAND
AND THEN HAD THE OLD MAN LAY THE HOT ASHES ON TOP.
THE MORAL IS THAT YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 03-15-1967

View just this record

A MAN WAS SENT TO PRISON FOR SIXTY DAYS WITH THE CONDITION
THAT HE WOULD BE RELEASED AFTER 30 DAYS IF HE COULD STAY
ALIVE THAT LONG WITH NOTHING TO EAT. THE ONLY PERSON
WHO VISITED HIM DURING THAT TIME WAS HIS DAUGHTER.
AFTER 30 DAYS HE APPEARED HEALTHY AND HAPPY BEFORE THE
JUDGE WHO ASKED HIM HOW HE DID IT. THE MAN REPLIED WITH
THIS RIDDLE: I WAS A BABY AND BECAME A MAN AND BECAME
A BABY AGAIN. THE DAUGHTER WHO VISITED HIM IN PRISON
WAS NURSING HER BABY AT THE TIME AND KEPT HER FATHER
ALIVE THE SAME WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PUNISHMENT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic
RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1930

View just this record

THE WOODEN DISHES

THIS STORY WAS TOLD TO ME BY MY FRENCH-POLISH
GRANDMOTHER (FRATERNAL) SEVERAL TIMES AND SHE SAID
THAT HER GRANDMOTHER TOLD IT TO HER. IT WAS A LESSON IN
RESPECT AND REVERENCE FOR OLD AGE. IT WENT LIKE THIS...
THERE WAS A CERTAIN FAMILY IN A FAIRLY LARGE VILLAGE
WHICH WAS DOING BETTER THAN THE AVERAGE VILLAGER. THIS
FAMILY CONSISTED OF A FATHER, MOTHER, AND TWO
CHILDREN, ONE BOY AND ONE GIRL. IT CAME TO PASS THAT THE
FATHER'S MOTHER DIED AND HIS FATHER WAS LEFT ALONE. AFTER
A FEW YEARS, THE WIDOWED FATHER BECAME TOO FEEBLE TO CARE
FOR ALL HIS NEEDS AND CAME TO LIVE WITH HIS SON AND
FAMILY. NOW, THE WIDOWER HAD A HARD TIME EATING AND
CARING FOR THE CHINA. SOMETIMES HE WOULD LIFT HIS PLATE
AND CLUMSILY DROP IT. THIS HELD TRUE FOR HIS CUP AND
SAUCER; MANY PIECES WERE BROKEN. NOW THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
BECAME VERY FRUSTRATED ABOUT THE LOSS OF HER GOOD CHINA AND
COMPLAINED TO HER HUSBAND ABOUT THE SITUATION SEVERAL TIMES.
AT LAST, THEY DECIDED TO GIVE THE ELDER WOODEN
DISHES, ALTHOUGH NOT LIKE THE REST, WHICH COULD NOT BE
BROKEN. SO FOR SOME TIME, THE ELDER WAS SERVED HIS FOOD
ON DISHES OF WOOD WHILE THE REST OF THE FAMILY DINED UPON
FINE CHINA. ONE DAY, THE MOTHER AND FATHER OF THE FAMILY
SAW THEIR CHILDREN BUSY AT WORK. THEY WERE CURIOUS AS TO
WHAT PROJECT THE CHILDREN WERE ENGROSSED IN. WHEN THE
PARENTS INQUIRED ABOUT THE WORK THEY WERE DOING AND WHAT
IT WAS THEY WERE MAKING, THE CHILDREN REPLIED, "WHY ITS
A SET OF WOODEN DISHES FOR YOU AND MAMA WHEN YOU GET OLD!"

Where learned: POLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 09-00-1984

View just this record

BE PREPARED

ONE DAY A TOURIST WAS WALKING ALONG THE SHORES OF A LAKE IN IRELAND.
HE CAME UPON AN OLD CASTLE AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN A GARDEN. THE FRIENDLY
GARDENER LET THE TOURIST IN AND SHOWED HIM AROUND THE GROUNDS WHICH THE
OLD MAN KEPT IN PERFECT ORDER. THE TOURIST WONDERED WHEN THE OWNER HAD
LAST BEEN THERE. "TWELVE YEARS AGO." "DOES HE EVER WRITE TO YOU?" "NO."
"FROM WHOM DO YOU GET YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?" "FROM HIS AGENT." "DOES HE COME?"
"NEVER." "WHO, THEN, COMES HERE?" "I AM ALWAYS ALONE. ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE
A TOURIST COMES." "BUT YOU KEEP THIS GARDEN IN SUCH FINE CONDITION, JUST AS
THOUGH YOU EXPECT YOUR MASTER TO COME HERE TOMORROW." THE OLD MAN PROMPTLY
REPLIED: "TODAY, SIR, TODAY!"

Submitter comment: TO ENFORCE HER ADVICE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, THE INFORMANT TELLS
THIS LITTLE STORY:
INFORMANT IS A NATIVE OF IRELAND AND SHE BELIEVES THAT SHE HEARD
IT AS A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SHE DIDN'T HEAR
IT UNTIL SHE CAME TO BOSTON AT THE AGE OF 14.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-04-1967

View just this record

A POLISH TALE

THERE IS POLISH TALE THAT TELLS ABOUT A PEASANT WHO WALKS ALL
THE WAY FROM POSNAN TO KOZIMIERZ, POLAND, WHERE THE KING
(KAZIMIERZ THE GREAT, 1300'S) RESIDED. THE PEASANT WANTS TO
COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LORD OF HIS MANOR WHO HAD KIDNAPPED HIS
WIFE RIGHT FROM THE WEDDING PROCESSION ON THE ROAD. HE HADN'T
SEEN HER SINCE THE KIDNAPPING.
WHEN THE PEASANT REACHES KOZIMIERZ, HE STOPS AT THE MARKET PLACE
WELL TO REST. AMONG THE MERCHANTS IN THE CROWD IS THE KING, WHO
STOPS AND QUESTIONS THE PEASANT. HE THEN EXPLAINS HIS COMPLAINT
AND PURPOSE. THE KING TAKES HIM TO THE CHURCH FOR THE NIGHT
WHERE THE PRIEST HAS THE PEASANT DRAW HIS COMPLAINT ON PAPER, AS
ALL COMPLAINTS WOULD BE ATTENDED TO THE NEXT DAY BY THE KING AND
VISITING LORDS. THE PEASANT DRAWS THE ROAD AND THE MANOR AROUND
IT.
AT THE POINT WHERE THE WIFE WAS TAKEN, THE PRIEST DREW A SKULL.
MEANWHILE, THE KING WAS RETURNING TO HIS CASTLE DOWN THE ROAD.
ON THIS SAME ROAD WAS ARRIVING THE LORD OF THE MANOR IN POZNAN
TO VISIT THE KING. HE APPROACHED WITH MUCH MUSIC AND FESTIVITY
IN ORDER TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION. ON THE ROAD NEAR THE CASTLE
THE LORD NOTICED IN THE DARK A FORM MOVING ALONG. THINKING IT
WAS SOME PEASANT IN THE WAY, HE CALLS THE PEDESTRIAN A BUM AND
WANTS TO HIT HIM. JUST THEN, THE FORM, WHO WAS REALLY THE KING,
ORDERS THE LORD TO STOP AND IDENTIFIES HIMSELF.
THE NEXT DAY THE COMPLAINTS WERE BEING EXAMINED BY THE KING AND
LORDS AND THE COMPLAINT OF THE PEASANT CAME UP. THE KING EX-
PLAINED THE PICTURE BY SAYING THAT A LORD HAD KILLED THE WIFE OF
A PEASANT ON THE ROAD, INDICATED BY THE SKULL. EVERYONE WAS
SHOCKED BY THE ACTION. THE KING ASKED EACH LORD WHAT PUNISHMENT
SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN FOR THE CRIME, AND WHEN HE CAME TO (THE)
GUILTY LORD, HE SAID THE PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE STARVATION. THE
KING THEN ANNOUNCED THAT THE LORD HAD COMMITTED (IT) HIMSELF, AND
THUS THE LORD WAS THROWN INTO THE DUNGEON BENEATH THE CASTLE TOWER
WITH ONLY SOME BREAD AND WATER, WHERE HE SOON DIED.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER REMEMBERS THIS TALE FROM HIS CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-22-1967

View just this record

LEBANESE EPIPHANY TALE

FIRST, THE TALE IS TOLD OF SHARIFA AND HER BROTHERS AND SISTERS
AND HER CRUEL STEPMOTHER. MOTHER WOULD FEED THEM GRUEL AND UNAPPETIZING FOOD,
PUT THEM TO BED EARLY AND PREPARE A RICH, GOOD FOOD FOR HERSELF AND HUSBAND.
ON EPIPHANY EVENING, AFTER THE CHILDREN WERE PUT TO BED, THE CRUEL STEPMOTHER
PREPARED THE TRADITIONAL PASTRY OF EPIPHANY OR "LITTLE CHRISTMAS" CALLED DYLABIA.
SHARIFA, THE OLDEST WAS AWAKENED BY THE FRAGRANT AROMA OF THE DONUT-LIKE PASTRY,
AND CALLED OUT THAT SHE WANTED SOME, OR SHE'D WAKE UP THE OTHER CHILDREN.
THE MOTHER WAS ANGRY AND GAVE HER A LITTLE TO SILENCE HER, AND FORCED HER BACK TO BED.
AGAIN SHE CALLED AND HER MOTHER TRIED TO SILENCE HER, BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. THE OTHER CHILDREN
AWAKENED AND CLAMORED FOR DYLABIA. THE MOTHER GAVE THEM ALL SOME, BUT WAS VERY ANGRY WITH SHARIFA.
THE NEXT MORNING THE STEPMOTHER TOOK SHARIFA IN THE WOODS AND LEFT HER THERE. SHE WAS FRIGHTENED
AND SOUGHT SHELTER IN A TREE OVER A SPARKLING POND. ONE DAY A HANDSOME, YOUNG PRINCE CAME RIDING
THROUGH THE FOREST. HE SAW THE POND AND RODE OVER UNDER SHARIFA'S TREE TO WATER HIS HORSE.
WHEN THE HORSE BENT TO DRINK IT WAS FRIGHTENED BY SHARIFA'S REFLECTION IN THE POND, AND HE PULLED AWAY.
THINKING THIS STRANGE, THE PRINCE LOOKED IN THE WATER AND SAW SHARIFA WHO WAS VERY FRIGHTENED,
BUT VERY BEAUTIFUL. KINDLY, HE BESEECHED HER TO COME DOWN, BUT SHE REFUSED TO EVEN SPEAK.
THEN THE PRINCE HAD AN IDEA. HE RODE BACK TO THE PALACE AND TOLD AN OLD WISE WOMAN HIS PROBLEM
OF THE GIRL IN THE TREE. SHE TOLD HIM TO BRING HER 6 DOZEN EGGS, 2 GALLONS OF OIL AND A FRYING PAN.
THEY RETURNED TO THE FOREST AND THE OLD WOMAN BUILT A FIRE UNDER SHARIFA'S TREE AND BEGAN
PREPARING EGGS FOR DINNER. SHARIFA WATCHED AS SHE TURNED THE FRYING PAN UPSIDE DOWN,
POURED ON THE OIL AND BROKE THE EGGS, WITH THE EGGS AND OIL DRIPPING DOWN OVER THE PAN
AND INTO THE FIRE. SHARIFA WAS VERY HUNGRY. SHE CALLED DOWN FROM THE TREE TELLING THE
WOMAN TO TURN THE PAN RIGHT-SIDE-UP. THE WISE OLD WOMAN PRETENDED SHE COULDN'T HEAR HER.
FINALLY SHARIFA CLIMBED DOWN AND SHOWED THE OLD WOMAN WHAT TO DO. AT THAT MOMENT THE HANDSOME
PRINCE APPEARED. HE PROMISED TO BE GOOD TO HER AND TOOK HER AND THE OLD WOMAN BACK TO THE PALACE
WHERE THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Submitter comment: FOLLOWING TALE IS TOLD ON THE FEAST OF EPIPHANY
(JAN. 6) DURING THE TAKING DOWN OF THE CHRISTMAS
TREE. THE SCENE IS RE-ENACTED BY THE CHILDREN IN
THE FAMILY.
AFTER THE TALE IS ENACTED BY THE CHILDREN, THEY EAT
THE PASTRY MOTHER HAS MADE.
SHARIFA DYLABIA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: CA04001970

View just this record

WOMAN WITH THREE MEN

ONCE THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN WHO HAD A BROTHER,
A HUSBAND AND A SON WHO WERE REBELS,
WORKING AGINST THEIR GOVERNMENT.
IT SO HAPPENED THAT THE THREE MEN WERE ARRESTED
BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND THROWN INTO JAIL.
THE OLD WOMAN WHO WAS VERY DISTRESSED WENT TO THE OFFICIALS
TO PLEAD FOR THEIR RELEASE. THE OFFICIALS TOLD HER THAT THEY
WOULD RELEASE ONE OF THE THREE MEN. THE WOMAN WENT HOME TO
THINK THE MATTER OVER AND DECIDED THAT SHE COULD GET ANOTHER
HUSBAND AND HAVE ANOTHER SON, BUT COULD NEVER HAVE ANOTHER BROTHER.
SHE RETURNED TO THE OFFICIALS AND ASKED THEM TO RELEASE HER BROTHER,
TELLING THEM HER REASONS FOR HER DECISION. THE OFFICIALS WERE SO
IMPRESSED WITH HER LOGIC THAT THEY RELEASED ALL THREE.

Submitter comment: FOLLOWING STORY WAS TOLD TO INFORMANT BY HER GREAT-
AUNT, WHEN SHE WAS QUARRELING WITH HER BROTHER:
THE INFORMANT COMMENTED THAT MANY OF THE LEBANESE
TALES HAVE A WISE OLD WOMAN MAKE AN IMPORTANT DECISION.
THE INFORMANT COMMENTED THAT MANY OF THE LEBANESE TALES HAVE A WISE
OLD WOMAN MAKE AN IMPORTANT DECISION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 03-02-1970

View just this record

UNFAITHFUL ARMY HUSBAND

IN NORTH CAROLINA WHERE I WAS STATIONED IN THE ARMY,
THERE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE WHO TOLD ME HE HAD A
FRIEND WHO WAS A LITTLE UNFAITHFUL TO HIS WIFE WHILE
HE WAS ON SEA DUTY. WELL, SHE FOUND OUT ABOUT HIS LITTLE
ADVENTURES, AND WHEN HE CAME HOME FROM LEAVE, THEY WENT
TO BED AND HE FELL ASLEEP BEFORE SHE DID. SHE THEN CUT
HIS SEX ORGAN OFF WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS AND HE DIED.

Submitter comment: PENIS OF UNFAITHFUL HUSBAND CUT OFF BY WIFE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): ADULTERY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-00-1968

View just this record

LOVE

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE LIVED A MAN AND WOMAN WHO
LOVED ONE ANOTHER VERY MUCH. SO GREAT WAS THEIR LOVE
THAT UPON THEIR WEDDING DAY, THE VERY ANGELS LEFT
HEAVEN AND CAME DOWN AND SANG FOR JOY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 03-01-1968

View just this record

DEAD DOG

THERE WAS A RICH COUPLE WHO WENT ACROSS THE RIVER ON
THEIR BOAT TO A PARTY. THEY WERE MILES AWAY AND
COULDN'T BE REACHED. THEY HIRED A BABY-SITTER WHO SAT
READING A BOOK, PETTING THE DOG, AND LISTENING TO THE
RADIO AT THE SAME TIME. SHE HEARD OVER THE RADIO THAT
A MURDERER HAD ESCAPED FROM AN ASYLUM AND THAT HE
KILLED PEOPLE BY HANGING THEM BY THEIR HEELS.
SUDDENLY SHE HEARD A DRIP, DRIP. SHE CHECKED ALL THE
WATER FAUCETS, BUT DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING. THEN, SHE
HEARD THE BABY CRYING. SHE WENT UP TO THE BABY'S ROOM,
BUT FOUND THAT HE WASN'T CRYING. SHE CAME BACK
DOWNSTAIRS, SAT DOWN, AND STARTED TO PET THE DOG AND
READ HER BOOK. SHE STILL HEARD THE DRIP, DRIP. SHE
WENT INTO THE BATHROOM AND SAW THE DEAD DOG HANGING
BY HIS FEET IN THE BATHROOM.
WHEN SHE CAME BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM SHE SAW THAT
SHE HAD BEEN PETTING THE MURDERER AND NOT THE DOG.

Submitter comment: BABYSITTER LOOKS FOR SOURCE OF DRIPS AND FINDS MURDERED DOG IN
BATHROOM. SHE HAS BEEN PETTING MURDERER, NOT DOG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BERKELEY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 08-11-1964

View just this record

HORROR STORY

TWO BOYS WERE TALKING AND ONE BET THE OTHER ONE TO
SPEND THE NIGHT IN A CRYPT. HE ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE
AND BEGAN HIS TASK. MEANWHILE, THE SECOND BOY WENT TO
THE CRYPT TO SEE THAT THE FIRST BOY REMAINED ALL NIGHT.
THE BOY DID SPEND THE WHOLE NIGHT, BUT BEFORE LEAVING
TOOK THE HEAD OF A CORPSE. THE CORPSE SAID, "LEAVE MY
HEAD, LEAVE MY HEAD." THE BOY SAID, "ALL RIGHT, HERE'S
YOUR OLD HEAD," AND THREW IT. IT HAPPENED TO LAND WHERE
THE SECOND BOY WAS HIDING AND SCARED HIM TO DEATH.

Where learned: HUNGARY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 00-00-1897

View just this record

THE FATE OF THE FULL MOON

THIS IS THE STORY OF TWO FARMERS IN THE OLD COUNTRY
(POLAND). THIS INCIDENT HAPPENED MANY YEARS AGO, AND IT
IS SUPPOSED TO BE A TRUE STORY. IT WAS TOLD TO MY
FATHER BY MY GRANDFATHER.
ONCE THERE WERE TWO NEIGHBOR FARMERS. ONE WAS MORE
SUCCESSFUL THAN THE OTHER. THE LESS SUCCESSFUL FARMER
WAS JEALOUS OF THE OTHER ONE AND KNEW THAT HE COULD BE
THE TOP FARMER IF THE OTHER ONE WAS OUT OF THE WAY.
ONE DAY THE JEALOUS FARMER HAD A PLAN AND AT NIGHT HE
MET THE OTHER FARMER COMING HOME FROM MARKET. IT WAS
DARK AND THEY WERE ALONE AND HE PLANNED TO KILL THE OTHER
FARMER. WHEN THE SUCCESSFUL FARMER REALIZED WHAT WAS
HAPPENING HE SAID, "WHY ARE YOU GOING TO KILL ME? I'VE
ALWAYS HELPED AND AIDED YOU WHEN YOUR CROPS WERE BAD. I'VE
ALWAYS TRIED TO HELP YOU OUT OF DIFFICULTIES AND THIS IS
WHAT I GET IN RETURN?"
BUT THE OTHER FARMER REPLIED, "I COULD BE THE RICHEST
FARMER IN THIS AREA IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU, AND I'M GOING
TO KILL YOU."
THE OTHER REPLIED, "THERE'S NO ONE AROUND NOW AND NOBODY
KNOWS YOU KILLED ME, BUT MARK MY WORDS--THE FULL MOON
THAT'S SHINING ABOVE WILL GIVE YOU AWAY."
THE OTHER FARMER LAUGHED AT THE THOUGHT OF A FULL MOON
GIVING HIM AWAY, AND HE KILLED THE FARMER.
AFTER THE BODY WAS FOUND AND BURIED, THERE WAS NO
EVIDENCE TO PROVE A MURDER. THUS THE FARMER BECAME
VERY SUCCESSFUL AND HE LIVED MANY PROSPEROUS YEARS WITH
HIS FAMILY. EVERYTIME HE SAW A FULL MOON, HE LAUGHED
AT THE RIDICULOUS IDEA OF IT GIVING HIM AWAY. HE OFTEN
WONDERED WHAT THE FARMER MEANT, AND THE MOON WAS ALWAYS
ON HIS CONSCIENCE.
ONE NIGHT AFTER THE DAY'S WORK, HE WAS SITING ON THE
PORCH WITH HIS WIFE RELAXING. THERE WAS A FULL MOON OUT
THAT NIGHT AND HIS THOUGHTS WENT BACK TO THE NIGHT OF THE
MURDER. ON IMPULSE HE SAID ALOUD, "I WONDER WHAT MR.----
MEANT WHEN HE SAID THE FULL MOON WOULD GIVE ME AWAY?"
HIS WIFE, NOT KNOWING HER HUSBAND WAS A MURDERER, ASKED
WHAT HE MEANT AND SO HE TOLD HER ABOUT WHAT HE HAD DONE.
SHE WAS DUMBFOUNDED AT WHAT SHE HEARD AND FROM THEN ON
THEIR LIFE TOGETHER WAS MISERY. FINALLY, SHE COULDN'T
KEEP THIS TO HERSELF AND IN ORDER TO HAVE JUSTICE DONE
SHE WENT TO TOWN AND TOLD THE SHERIFF. THE FARMER WAS
ARRESTED FOR THE CRIME AND IN JAIL HE REALIZED HOW THE
FULL MOON GAVE HIM AWAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HIS FATHER.
HOW THE FULL MOON REVEALS THE MURDERER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 08-00-1964

View just this record

A CERTAIN STUMP

IN THE OLD COUNTRY (POLAND) THERE WERE MASTERS WHO OWNED
LAND. AND THERE WERE SERVANTS WHO WORKED ON THE LAND.
THE MASTER WAS CALLED A "PAN" (PRONOUNCED "PON") AND
USUALLY HE DID NO WORK AT ALL.
ON A CERTAIN FARM THERE WAS A MASTER WHO COULD NOT MOVE
HIS BOWELS SATISFACTORILY, AND HE ALWAYS COMPLAINED
ABOUT THIS TO HIS SERVANTS. MANY OF THE SERVANTS WERE
PAID ALMOST NOTHING AND HATED THE MASTER. ONE DAY, ONE
OF THESE SERVANTS TOLD THE MASTER THAT HE HAD TO GO TO
A CERTAIN STUMP IF HE WANTED TO REALLY GET A GOOD
PHYSICAL CLEANING. THE MASTER WAS OVERJOYED AT HEARING
THIS AND PROMISED TO GIVE HIM A BIG RAISE IF HE WOULD SHOW
HIM THE STUMP. THE SERVANT SAID HE WOULD AND THE NEXT DAY
HE CAME TO THE MASTER'S HOUSE WITH A HORSE-DRAWN CART.
THE MASTER WAS DELIGHTED THAT MORNING WITH THE THOUGHT OF
A CERTAIN STUMP. HE GOT INTO THE CART AND THE SERVANT
LED THE HORSES OVER A BUMPTY ROAD THROUGH THE FOREST.
AFTER RIDING VERY FAST FOR A HALF HOUR THE PAN INQUIRED
HOW FAR THE STUMP WAS. THE SERVANT REPLIED, "IT'S
JUST AHEAD MASTER."
THEN THE SERVANT MADE THE HORSES GO FASTER OVER THE BUMPY
ROAD AND THE PAN WAS GETTING IMPATIENT, "HOW MUCH LONGER
YET TO THE STUMP, SERVANT?" "I CAN'T TAKE THIS MUCH LONGER."
THE SERVANT REALIZED THAT THE MASTER'S STOMACHE WAS
CHURNING ALREADY, BUT HE WENT FASTER -- THEN THE MASTER
SAID: "SERVANT, I CAN'T HOLD IT ANY LONGER, HURRY TO
STUMP!" THEN THE SERVANT POINTED TO THE FIRST STUMP
HE SAW AND SAID, "THERE'S THE STUMP, MASTER." THE
MASTER JUMPED OUT, RAN TO THE STUMP, AND CAME BACK A
WHILE LATER JUST BEAMING BECAUSE HE REALLY FELT GOOD.
HE SAID, "SERVANT, YOU ARE VERY SMART FOR FINDING SUCH A
STUMP FOR ME. YOU WILL GET YOUR RAISE."
MORAL--THE SMART SERVANT KNEW THAT THE BODY MUST BE
EXERCISED AND WORKED IN ORDER TO GAIN PHYSICAL SATISFACTION.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HIS FATHER.
SERVANT CAUSES BOWEL MOVEMENT IN HIS CONSTIPATED MASTER BY GETTING
HIM TO EXERCISE AS SERVANT LEADS HIM TO A SUPPOSED MAGIC STUMP.

Where learned: WARREN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 08-00-1964

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THE FIRST RULE OF MARRIAGE

IRISHMAN BRINGING HOME HIS BRIDE ON MULE DRAWN BUGGY.
MULE STOPS, MAN GETS DOWN AND RUNS AROUND TO FRONT OF
MULE AND POINTS HIS FINGER TO MULE'S HEAD AND SAYS,
"THAT'S ONCE." MULE STOPS AGAIN, REPEAT., SAYING "THAT'S
TWICE." ON THIRD OCCASION ALMOST IN FRONT OF MAN'S
HOUSE MULE STOPS, MAN GETS OUT REACHES BEHIND THE WAGON
GETS HIS GUN AND SHOOTS THE MULE. HIW WIFE, FURIOUS,
BEATS ON HIS CHEST WITH HER FISTS WHILE HE PASSIVELY
WAITS THE END OF HER OUTBURST, THEN POINTS HIS FINGER
AT HER AND SAYS, "THAT'S ONCE!"

Submitter comment: TOLD AS A JOKE IN A MARRIAGE COURSE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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JOKE

ONCE IN A LITTLE POLISH TOWN THERE WAS A RABBI WHO WAS
CONSIDERED VERY WISE. HE WAS SO WISE, IN FACT, THAT THE
TOWNSPEOPLE DECIDED TO SEND HIM TO ROME TO DEBATE WITH THE
POPE. WHEN THE RABBI GOT TO ROME, BY SOME STROKE OF LUCK
HE OBTAINED A PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE. WELL,
IT SEEMS THAT THE POPE COULDN'T SPEAK POLISH AND THE RABBI
COULDN'T SPEAK ITALIAN, SO THEY DEBATED WITH GESTURES AS
FOLLOWS:
THE POPE STUCK OUT ONE FINGER. THE RABBI STUCK OUT TWO.
THEN THE POPE TOOK OUT A PIECE OF CHEESE. THE RABBI
RESPONDED BY PRODUCING AN EGG. AT THIS, THE POPE EMBRACED
THE RABBI IN WONDER AND THEN LEFT. WHEN QUESTIONED BY A
CLERIC, THE POPE REMARKED THAT HE HAD NEVER SEEN SUCH A
WISE MAN IN HIS LIFE. HE THEN PROCEEDED TO EXPLAIN THE
ARGUMENT: I USED ONE FINGER TO INDICATE ONE GOD, BUT
HE COUNTERED WITH TWO FINGERS TO SHOW THAT THERE ARE TWO
KINGDOMS--THAT OF GOD AND THAT OF THE WORLD. I BROUGHT
OUT A CHEESE TO SHOW THAT THE EARTH IS FLAT, BUT HE
BROUGHT AN EGG TO SHOW THAT THE WORLD IS ROUND.
WHAT A GENIUS!"
WHEN THE RABBI GOT BACK TO HIS LITTLE POLISH TOWN, THE
PEOPLE ASKED HIM WHAT HAD HAPPENED. "IT WAS THE STRANGEST
THING," HE SAID, "FIRST HE STICKS OUT HIS FINGER
MEANING TO POKE ME IN THE EYE, SO I STUCK OUT TWO
MEANING I WAS GOING TO GET BOTH HIS EYES (FORGOTTEN PART).
THEN HE PULLS OUT A CHEESE SO, NATURALLY, I BROUGHT AN EGG.
ANYBODY KNOWS YOU CAN'T MAKE A CHEESE BLINTZ WITHOUT AN
EGG."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HIGHLAND PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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ORDINARY FOLKTALE

IN THE DAYS THE PROCESS OF EMBALMING WAS NOT USED
AS IT IS NOW. A RICH WOMAN SUPPOSEDLY DIED AND
WAS BURIED WITH HER JEWELS. TWO ROBBERS WISHING
TO GET THEM DUG UP THE GRAVE AND WHEN THEY OPENED
THE COFFIN THE WOMAN SAT UP. THE THIEVES RAN AWAY
IN FEAR. THE WOMAN RETURNED HOME AND REWARDED
THE THIEVES FOR SAVING HER LIFE.

Submitter comment: WHEN ROBBERS DIG UP HER GRAVE SUPPOSEDLY DEAD WOMAN REVIVES. SHE
REWARDS THE ROBBERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 00-00-1952

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NAIL SOUP

RETOLD BY CHRISTINE M. KOWALSKI
WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN, MY GRANDFATHER OFTEN TOLD US
THE STORY OF THE GYPSY WHO CLAIMED HE COULD MAKE SOUP
FROM A NAIL--JUST A COMMON ORDINARY NAIL. THIS IS HOW
IT WENT:
IN THE TOWN WHERE GRANDFATHER LIVED THERE WAS A MARKET-
PLACE. HERE THE PEASANTS GATHERED TO DISPLAY THE PRODUCTS OF
THEIR OWN SMALL FARMS. TALL, SERIOUS YOUNG FARMERS CAME
WITH THEIR TALKATIVE WIVES. BRIGHT RED, GREEN, AND YELLOW
KERCHIEFS WERE EVERYWHERE, AND TONGUES WAGGED WHILE BUSY
FINGERS PINCHED AND TESTED BEFORE BUYING.
ONE MARKET DAY, A SOLITARY GYPSY SETTLED HIMSELF IN THE
CENTER OF THE MARKETPLACE WITH A BUNDLE OF FAGOTS AND A
LARGE BLACK BAG. UNTYING THE FAGOTS, HE LAID THEM
CAREFULLY ON THE GROUND AND PROCEEDED TO LIGHT A FIRE.
A FEW PEOPLE PAUSED TO WATCH, CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT WAS
GOING ON. UNCONCERNED, THE GYPSY PRODUCED A BLACKENED
KETTLE FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE BAG, WALKED OVER TO THE TOWN
PUMP, AND FILLED IT HALF WAY. THE KETTLE HE SET UP OVER
THE FIRE ON A RUSTY CRANE.
"THESE FELLOWS ARE GETTING BOLDER RIGHT ALONG. THERE"S ONE
COOKING HIS DINNER UNDER OUR NOSES," SAID A FARMER AS HE
AND HIW WIFE PUSHED THROUGH THE CROWD OF BYSTANDERS.
JUST THEN THE GYPSY REACHED INTO THE LINING OF HIS COAT
AND PULLED OUT A WHITE CLOTH PACKET, WHICH HE UNWRAPPED
WITH EXCEEDING CARE. IN THE CENTER LAY A NAIL. HE HELD
IT UP IN THE PALE SUNLIGHT, SQUINTING AS HE STUDIED IT,
THEN RUBBED HARD AT A SPOT, POLISHING IT AS TENDERLY AS
THOUGH IT WERE A PRECIUS JEWEL. THE NAIL WAS CEREMONIOUSLY
DROPPED INTO THE POT, WHERE IT CLANKED AS IT HIT BOTTOM.
THEN HE TOOK A BATTERED SPOON AND STIRRED THE WATER
VIGOROUSLY, A SATISFIED SMILE ON HIS FACE. MYSTIFIED,
THOSE WHO HAD BEEN WATCHING THE STRANGE PROCEEDINGS MOVED
CLOSER. THE GYPSY TASTED THE BREW. THEN HE SMACKED HIS
LIPS.
"SAY, OLD MAN, WHAT ARE YOU COOKING? THERE'S NOTHING IN
THAT POT BUT A NAIL."
THE GYPSY LOOKED AT HIS QUESTIONER SYMPATHETICALLY. "THIS
IS A RARE SOUP," HE EXPLAINED. "ONE I PICKED UP IN MY
TRAVELS. WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE TASTED IT. THERE'S NOTHING
LIKE SOUP FROM A NAIL," AND HE SIGHED BLISSFULLY. "IT NEEDS A LITTLE SALT." REACHING INTO A POCKET HE BROUGHT
FORTH TWO SMALL ROUND BOXES, ONE RED, ONE BLACK. "A
PINCH OF THIS, AND A COUPLE OF THESE PEPPERCORNS WILL
BRING OUT THE FLAVOR." HE STIRRED AGAIN.
PEOPLE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER BLANKLY. EITHER HE WAS SIMPLE
OR UP TO SOME TRICKERY, THEY WHISPERED AMONG THEMSELVES.
THE GYPSY STIRRED AGAIN AND TASTED.
"IF ONLY I HAD A TINY ONION." AT THE WISFULNESS IN HIS
VOICE, A YOUNG GIRL SHYLY HELD FORTH A BUNCH OF SMALL
GREEN ONIONS. "THANK YOU, MY DEAR," HE SAID AND SLICED
SEVERAL INTO THE POT, RETURNING THE REST WITH A BOW.
HIS EYES STRAYED FROM ONE STOPPING BASKET TO ANOTHER, LIGHTING
ON A BUNCH OF BRIGHT GREEN HERBS. "JUST A BIT OF THAT
PARSLEY WOULD BRING OUT THE FLAVOR. OF COURSE, IT
ISN'T REALLY NECESSARY."
THE GOOD WIFE STEPPED FORWARD AND BEGGED HIM TO TAKE IT
SAYING SHE COULD NEVER BEAR SOUP WITHOUT A BIT OF IT.
HE THANKED HER ALSO. "I STILL DON'T SEE HOW HE CAN DO IT,"
SAID ANOTHER, LEANING FROM HER STALL. AT THIS POINT THE
GYPSY ROSE, STRETCHED, AND STROLLED AROUND A BIT FROM
STALL TO STALL, PAUSING AT LAST BEFORE THE DOUBTER.
"MY, WHAT BEAUTIFUL LARGE POTATOES, AND SO FREE FROM
SPOTS! CAN'T TELL IF THEY ARE SOUND INSIDE THOUGH."
HEADS TURNED TO WATCH THIS LITTLE BYPLAY. "HOW DARE YOU,"
SHE GRABBED A KNIFE AND SLASHED OPEN ONE POTATO AFTER
ANOTHER. "SEE! HOW WHITE AND FIRM?" SHE THRUST THREE OR
FOUR CUT POTATOES INTO HIS HANDS. "NOW ARE YOU CONVINCED?"
"THANK YOU, MADAM. I AM." AND HE BOWED. HE LOOKED DOWN
THOUGHTFULLY AT THE CUT PIECES IN HIS BROWN HANDS. "SUCH
PERFECT POTATOES WOULD MAKE THIS NOT ONLY A GOOD SOUP BUT A
SUPERB SOUP," HE VENTURED. "YOU COULDN'T FIND BETTER,"
SHE ANNOUNCED WITH SATISFACTION. "AGAIN YOU ARE RIGHT,
MADAM." HE EDGED HIS WAY BACK THROUGH THE CROWD TO
THE FIRE. SEVERAL WERE SNIFFING THE DELICIOUS AROMA.
THE CURIOUS WERE PEERING INTO THE POT. THERE WAS
MUTTERING AND UNREST IN THE OTHER STALLS. "MY VEGE-
TABLES ARE JUST AS GOOD AS HERS," SNORTED A TALL, THIN
WOMAN. ARMED WITH A BUNCH OF CARROTS SHE PUSHED HER WAY
THROUGH THE CROWD AND FORCED THE GYPSY TO ACCEPT THEM.
PEOPLE WERE BEGINNING TO LOOK A BIT AMUSED AS A TURNIP
WAS PROFFERED NEXT, THEN A HEAD OF CABBAGE, A HANDFUL OF
PEAS, AND SO ON. ANYTHING BEYOND WHAT HE NEEDED AT THE
MOMENT, THE OLD GYPSY STUFFED INTO HIS BAG. IT SEEMED
THAT NO ONE WANTED TO BE LEFT OUT. THE AROMA BECAME MORE
AND MORE TANTALIZING. SUDDENLY THE CHURCH BELLS STRUCK
NOON, LEAVING THE GYPSY TO ENJOY HIS WELL-EARNED MEAL.
A FEW STRAGGLERS SAW HIM RETRIEVE THE NAIL, POLISH IT UP
CAREFULLY, AND GIVING IT A QUEER LITTLE SALUTE, STOW IT
AWAY AGAIN IN THE WHITE CLOTH BEFORE HE BEGAN TO EAT.

Submitter comment: SOURCE: CHRISTINE M. KOWALSKI, "NAIL SOUP," <
MAGAZINE>>, APRIL, 1964, VOL. 1, NO. 3, P. 48-49.
PUBLISHED SOURCE: CHRISTINE KOWALSKI, "NAIL SOUP", THE GOLDEN
MAGAZINE, APRIL, 1964, VOL. 1, NO. 3, P. 48-9.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 08-00-1964

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