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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE FOX AND THE GRAPES

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS A FOX WHO SAW SOME GRAPES ON A VINE
ABOVE HIS HEAD. HE JUMPED, TRYING TO GET THEM, BUT FELL SHORT.
AFTER REPEATED UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS, HE SULKED OFF SAYING, "THEY
WERE PROBABLY SOUR ANYWAY." THIS IS THE ORIGIN OF THE EXPRESSION
"SOUR GRAPES," APPLIED TO SOMEONE WHO DEGRADES SOMETHING HE WANTS
BECAUSE HE CAN'T GET IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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REMEDY

FOR CHANGE OF LIFE (THROUGH THE YEARS)- TOMARINDO, CINNAMON STICKS,
FRESH NUTMEG-CHIPPED, ANISE, CLOVES, PEPPERMINT LEAVES, AND ROSEMARY
LEAVES, THEN THEY BOIL IT. AND FOR EVERY QUART, THEY ADD THE JUICE
OF 3 LEMONS, PUT IN THE SKINS AND FERMENT IT IN A JAR FOR 3 DAYS .
THEN STRAIN IT WITH A CHEESECLOTH. THEN THEY ADD 3 JIGGERS OF
ANNISETTE LIQUEUR. THEN THEY ADD 7 OUNCES OF HONEY. THEY DON'T
BELIEVE IN HORMONE SHOTS FOR CHANGE OF LIFE.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED BY THE INFORMANT WHEN SHE WAS A YOUNG GIRL IN
TEXAS. SHE WAS TAUGHT THIS BY HER MOTHER OR GRANDPARENTS, PRIMARILY
HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL BEE ; PLANTS

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
Food Drink -- Brew of leaf, bark, root
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 01-10-1973

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REMEDY

POOR PEOPLE WITH TUBERCULOSIS USE THIS- RICE WATER TEA WITH HONEY
DAILY AT EVERY OPPURTUNITY BY ITSELF OR MIXED WITH JUICES OF THE
TROPICAL FRUITS THEY GROW THERE (IN TEXAS) SUCH AS PAPAYA JUICE,
MANGOS, CACTUS JUICE, AND COCONUT MILK, ALMOST LIKE A FULL MEAL TO
THE WEAK PERSON. ALL THE FRUITS ARE STRAINED AND THE RICE WATER
TEA IS MADE WITH RICE WATER AND PEPPERMINT LEAVES OR ANY OTHER TEA
LEAVES.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED BY THE INFORMANT WHEN SHE WAS A YOUNG GIRL
IN TEXAS. SHE WAS TAUGHT THIS INFORMATION BY HER MOTHER OR
GRANDPARENTS, PRIMARILY HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL BEE ; PLANT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
Food Drink -- Animal product
Food Drink -- Brew of leaf, bark, root
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 01-10-1973

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MEANS OF CAUSING ILLNESS

OH IT'S CHERRY JUICE AND LEAVES,
THAT GIVE YOU THE DRY HEAVES,
IN THE HALLS, IN THE HALLS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO ; CAMPUS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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AN APPLE

AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS A SAYING THAT SHE ALWAYS SAYS. SHE HEARD IT WHEN SHE WAS
YOUNG FROM HER PARENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; ADVICE: POSITIVE ; RHYME

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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PARODY OF A PROVERB

AN APPLE A DAY IS A PENNY SAVED.

Data entry tech comment: VARIANT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR? ; NONSEQUITUR? ; PARODY

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TREE BELIEF

IF A TREE DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT, FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE:
GO OUT IN YOUR GARDEN ONE NIGHT, PREFERABLY IN A FULL MOON
AND CARRY A SHARP KNIFE WITH YOU. TAKE THE KNIFE
AND STRIKE THE
TREE THREE TIMES. AFTER EACH CHOP, REPEAT THE WORDS, TREE
BEAR FRUIT, WITH A STERN VOICE. THE NEXT YEAR ON THAT SAME DAY,
THE TREE WILL BEGIN TO BEAR FRUIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): THREAT?

Subject headings: 686 686.1
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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TOMATO BELIEF

TOMATOS ONLY RIPEN IN THE FULL MOONLIGHT

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT CLAIMS HE WAS TOLD THIS BY HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant

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TOMATO BELIEF

IF YOU EAT MANY TOMATOS, YOUR SKIN WILL TURN RED.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR ; HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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TREE BELIEF

TREES WHICH BEAR FRUIT WILL BEAR BETTER FRUIT IF ONE DRIVES A NAIL
INTO THEM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRON?

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-20-1970

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FOOD BELIEF

IT IS A CUSTOM IN SOUTHERN FRANCE TO PEAL THE SKIN OFF PEACHES SO
THAT THEY DO NOT STICK TO THE INSIDE OF YOUR STOMACH IF YOU EAT
IT.

Where learned: SOUTHERN FRANCE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PREGNANCY BELIEF

IN INDIA WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT SHE CAN NOT EAT PAPYA
BECAUSE IT IS A HEATY FRUIT.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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BLACK TABOO

IF YOU EAT BLACK GRAPES OR BLACK FIGS THEN SOME SORT OF BAD LUCK
WILL COME TO YOU, SUCH AS BAD NEWS, OR YOU WILL DO SOMETHING
THAT YOU WILL REGRET LATER. HOWEVER RED, WHITE , GREEN, AND BLUE
GRAPES AND FIGS ARE FINE TO EAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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PLANT LEGEND

THERE IS A TYPE OF TREE THAT LOOKS LIKE AN ORDINARY TREE IN
THE DAYTIME, BUT AT NIGHT IT GROWS MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRUIT.
IF YOU PICKED SOME OF THIS FRUIT, THE ROOTS OF THE TREE WOULD
COME OUT OF THE GROUND AND DEVOUR YOU.
THESE TREES COULD BE IN GROUPS
THE TREE CAN ALSO MOVE IN THE NIGHT BY WALKING ON ITS ROOTS.
BUT IT HAS TO RETURN TO ITS: ORIGINAL POSITION BY DAWN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FRUIT BELIEF

IF YOU SWALLOW A GRAPEFRUIT OR ORANGE SEEDS, IT WILL GROW IN YOUR
STOMACH.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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HOME BELIEF

A LEMON CUT OPEN IN AN ICEBOX IS SUPPOSED TO KEEP IT SMELLING
FRESH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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PREGNANCY BELIEF

A PREGNANT WOMAN IS PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FRUIT FROM A TREE OR
THE TREE WILL DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FOOD BELIEF

WHILE LIVING IN JAPAN, MY MOTHER OBSERVED THE JAPANESE
CUSTOM OF PUTTING FRUIT AROUND TOMBSTONES IN THE CEMETERIES.
THE JAPANESE DO THIS BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE
DECEASED COMES OUT AT NIGHT AND EATS THE FRUIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: 03-30-1968

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APPLE STEM AND LEAVES

WHEN AN APPLE STEM AND LEAVES REMAIN ON THE APPLE AND THE APPLE IS
PUT IN THE ICE BOX THE APPLE WILL ROT SOONER THAN IF THE LEAVES AND
STEMS HAD NOT BEEN ON THE APPLE.

Submitter comment: I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS "JESTURE" BEFORE TALKING WITH FRED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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THE CHRISTMAS TREE

ALL THE CHRISTMAS TREES IN POLAND ARE DECORATED WITH ORNAMENTS
MADE BY THE PEOPLE OF THE HOUSE. THESE ARE USED FROM
YEAR TO YEAR. SOMETIMES NUTS AND CRANBERRIES ARE
STRUNG TOGETHER AND THE GARLAND HUNG ON THE BRANCHES OF THE TREE.
THE LIGHTS ARE USUALLY SMALL CANDLES LIT CAREFULLY BY THE LADY
OF THE HOUSE. THE TREE IS ALWAYS DECORATED ON CHRISTMAS EVE,
LONG AFTER THE LITTLE ONES HAVE GONE TO BED.

Submitter comment: RECEIVED BY LETTER FROM POLAND SEVERAL YEARS AGO

Where learned: POLAND ; KRAKOW

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut

Date learned: 12-01-1975

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