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GHOSTS

THE MALTESE ANCESTORS BELIEVED IN GHOSTS, AND THE OLD PEOPLE OF
THE COUNTRY STILL BELIEVE THAT THESE GHOSTS HIDE UNDER STATUES
IN THE FORM OF A BLACK SNAKE. HE WATCHES THAT HOUSE AND PREDICTS
THAT THE FAMILY WILL KEEP ON GROWING FROM GENERATION TO GENERA-
TION. THIS SNAKE MUST NOT BE KILLED FOR IF THEY KILL HIM, A BIG
DISASTER WILL FALL UPON THAT FAMILY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 11-11-1967

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FREEZING WATER

I MET A PERSON WHO FIRMLY BELIEVED THAT HOT WATER FROZE BEFORE
COLD WWATER. THIS MAN WAS FROM DENMARK AND I QUESTIONED HIS
RELATIVES ABOUT THE SAME PHENOMENON. THEY ALL BELIEVED THIS
SAME THING--THAT PLACING TWO PANS OF WATER (ONE HOT, ONE COLD)
OUT IN THE FREEZING COLD, THAT THE HOT WATER WOULD FREEZE FIRST.
I TRIED TO CONVINCE THEM OTHERWISE BUT TO NO AVAIL. THEY ACCUSED
ME OF SWITCHING PANS. I COULD ONLY CONCLUDE THAT SOMEONE IN
THEIR FAMILY OR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS HAD TRIED THIS EXPERIMENT AND
HAD COME BACK TO FIND ONE PAN OF WATER FROZE AND THE OTHER PAN
FILLED WITH COLD WATER. PRESTO, HOT WATER FREEZES BEFORE COLD
WATER.

Submitter comment: AT THE TIME OF OBSERVING THEIR BELIEF I COULD HARDLY SEE THE
HUMOR OF THEIR ERROR. I WAS AT THE TIME TRYING TO UNFREEZE
MR. H'S WATER PUMP BY POURING HOT WATER OVER AND THROUGH IT.
DUE TO HIS INSISTENCE, I HAD TO SWITCH TO COLD WATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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SUPERSTITION

A CAT WILL CLIMB INTO THE CRIB OF A NEW BABY AND TRY TO STEAL ITS
BREATH AWAY.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION, TRADITIONAL IN THE LUCCI FAMILY, WAS MENTIONED
IN THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION 31 CLASS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT,
WHICH IS TAUGHT BY MR. LUCCI. HE SAYS THAT HE LEARNED IT FROM HIS
MOTHER, WHO IN TURN HAD LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER. MR. LUCCI
SAW THIS HAPPEN WITH HIS OWN CHILD, BUT HE OFFERED TWO MORE-SCIEN-
TIFIC EXPLANATIONS: 1) THE CAT WAS MERELY CURIOUS AT THIS NEW
ADDITION AND WAS SNIFFING AROUND; OR 2) THE CAT COULD SMELL THE
MILK ON THE BABY'S BREATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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WART SUPERSTITION

WARTS ARE CAUSED BY TOUCHING TOADS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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WORK CUSTOM: EGG LAYING

TO MAKE CHICKENS LAY EGGS, YOU TAKE THE DUNG OF RABBITS AND POUND
IT INTO POWDER, MIX THIS WITH BRAN AND FEED IT TO CHICKENS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS GRANDFATHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bird

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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BELIEF: CATCHING FISH

TAKE ROSE SEED AND MUSTARD SEED, AND THE FOOT OF A WEASEL, AND
HANG THESE IN A NET; FISH WILL COLLECT THERE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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LUCK AT CARDS BELIEF

TIE THE HEART OF A BAT WITH A RED SILKEN STRING TO THE RIGHT ARM
AND YOU'LL HAVE GOOD LUCK AND WIN EVERY CARD GAME YOU PLAY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER FATHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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MOLE SUPERSTITION

MRS. BALDWIN SAYS THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAIRY MOLES GOT THEM
BECAUSE THEIR MOTHER WAS BITTEN BY A DOG WHEN SHE WAS PREGNANT.

Submitter comment: MRS. BALDWIN DOESN'T REMEMBER WHERE SHE HEARD THIS BUT SHE HAD
BELIEVED IT AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LATHRUP VILLAGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-08-1963

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TALE

A BOY AND HIS SISTER ARE WALKING THROUGH A FOREST AND THEY CAME TO
A STREAM. THE BOY BENDS OVER TO TAKE A DRINK BUT THE GIRL TELLS
HIM NOT TO BECAUSE IT'S ENCHANTED. HE DIDN'T LISTEN TO HER AND HE
TURNED INTO A DEER. SHE TOOK A LITTLE BELL AND PUT IT AROUND HIS
NECK AND THEY WENT TO LIVE IN A COTTAGE BY THE EDGE OF THE FOREST.
FOR A LONG TIME EVERYBODY TRIES TO KILL THE DEER BECAUSE IT IS
SUCH A BEAUTY. ONE DAY THE OLD KING DIED AND HIS YOUNG SON BECAME
KING. HE DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO CAPTURE THE DEER AND HAVE HIM
FOR A BANQUET. SO HE SENT OUT SPIES TO FIND OUT WHERE IT WAS THAT
THE DEER ALWAYS DISAPPEARED TO. THE SPIES SAID THAT THE DEER
ALWAYS WENT INTO A COTTAGE BY THE EDGE OF THE FOREST.
ONE DAY THE GIRL HAD GONE OUT TO GET SOME FOOD. WHEN SHE CAME
BACK SHE SAW THAT THERE HAD BEEN A STRUGGLE IN THE COTTAGE AND THE
LITTLE BELL WAS LYING ON THE FLOOR. SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
BUT A BIRD TOLD HER THAT THE DEER HAD BEEN TAKEN TO THE CASTLE FOR
A BANQUET. SHE HURRIED TO THE KING, FORCED HER WAY PAST ALL THE
GUARDS, AND TOLD THE YOUNG KING THE WHOLE STORY. HE SAID, "HOW
CAN YOU PROVE IT?" SO SHE ASKED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE DEER.
WHEN THE DEER SAW HER HE RUSHED RIGHT UP AND STARTED LICKING HER.
HE HAD BEEN MEAN TO EVERYONE ELSE SO THE KING KNEW SHE WAS TELLING
THE TRUTH. THE KING SENT OUT HIS SPIES TO CATCH THE OLD WITCH WHO
HAD ENCHANTED THE FOREST. THEY CAUGHT HER AND JUST BEFORE THEY
KILLED HER, HER IRON NOSE FELL OFF. AS SOON AS IT DID THE DEER
WAS CHANGED INTO A BOY AGAIN. THE KING DECIDED TO MARRY THE GIRL
AND THAT'S THE END OF THE STORY.

Submitter comment: MISS DAMIN'S HUNGARIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD HER THIS TALE WHEN SHE
WAS A YOUNG GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HUNGARY ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 01-00-1964

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HAUNTED HOUSE

IN BARABOO, WISCONSIN, WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG, THERE WAS A
HAUNTED HOUSE ON OUR BLOCK AND WE KEPT SEEING PEOPLE IN WHITE
WALKING AROUND IN THERE, AND DOGS HOWLING UP THERE AT NIGHT.

Where learned: WISCONSIN ; SUN PRAIRIE ; BARABOO

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign Color

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BOTTOMLESS LAKE

IN THE EARLY NINETEEN HUNDREDS, A HORSE AND BUGGY STOOD AT THE TOP
OF SAND DUNES OVERLOOKING GRAND SABLE LAKE IN THE U.P. (UPPER
PENINSULA). THE HORSE WAS STARTLED BY SOMETHING AND RAN DOWN THE
DUNE AND INTO THE LAKE. NO TRACE OF EITHER HORSE OR BUGGY HAS
EVER BEEN FOUND.

Submitter comment: SHE LEARNED THIS UPON SEEING SABLE LAKE FOR THE FIRST TIME (AROUND
1957) AS A VERIFICATION FOR THE DEPTH OF THE LAKE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND MARAIS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Still water Small body. Lake, pond....
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001957 CA

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THE LEGEND OF PRIEST'S LEAP

AN IRISH PRIEST WAS SAYING MASS IN THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE LIVING
ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN IN COUNTY KERRY. THE BRITISH FOUND OUT ABOUT
THIS AND CAME AFTER THE PRIEST. THEY CHASED THE PRIEST FOR A
WHILE AND HAD HIM CORNERED, ABOUT TO BE CAPTURED. THE PRIEST,
BEING ON TOP OF THIS MOUNTAIN, HAD NO WHERE TO GO. SO HE GAVE
HIS HORSE A SWIFT KICK AND HE LEAPED FROM THE MOUNTAIN, OVER
BANTRY BAY, AND LANDED TWENTY MILES AWAY IN COUNTY CORK. IF YOU
GO DOWN THE ROAD, 1/4 OF A MILE OUT OF THE CITY OF BANTRY, YOU
WILL STILL SEE A ROCK ALONG THE SIDE WITH THE HOOF PRINTS OF THE
HORSE AND THE SIGN OF THE WHIP THAT ARE STILL THERE TODAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAW THE HOOF PRINTS AND THE SIGN OF THE WHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Curse

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NOT GIVEN

THIS GUY HAD A BIRD DOG; HE WAS ALWAYS BRAGGING ABOUT HOW GOOD
THIS DOG WAS. ONE DAY HE WENT OUT SHOOTIN' QUAIL. HE SHOT ONE
AND IT FELL INTO THE RIVER. THE DOG JUMPED INTO THE RIVER TO
GET THE BIRD. HE STARTED SWIMMING AFTER IT AND KEPT SWIMMING
AFTER. THE BIRD KEPT FLOATIN' DOWN, THE DOG KEPT SWIMMING AFTER
IT. SO FINALLY THE DOG GOT OUT OF SIGHT. HE SAW IT GO UNDER AND
FIGURED IT HAD DROWNED. HE LEFT FOR HOME. THE NEXT DAY HE WENT
BACK HUNTING IN THE SAME AREA. THE DOG CAME SWIMMING OUT WITH A
FISH, A BIG OLD CATFISH. THE GUY TOOK THE CATFISH AND THE DOG
AND WENT HOME. BUT HE COULDN'T FIGURE IT OUT. HE CLEANED THE
CATFISH AND FOUND THE BIRD IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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NOT GIVEN

THERE'S THIS GUY NAMED STADTON THAT DID A LOT OF HUNTING. HE WAS
HUNTING SQUIRRELS ONE EARLY MORNING ALONG BY A CORN FIELD. THERE
WAS A RAIL FENCE AT THE END OF THE FIELD WHERE THE SQUIRRELS
LIVED. THEY WOULD COME INTO THE CORN FIELD AND EAT THE CORN.
IT WAS BARELY DAYLIGHT AND THIS BEAR CAME ALONG. THAT BEAR WAS
PULLING OFF THOSE EARS OF CORN LIKE A MAN WOULD. HE GOT AN ARMFUL
OF THEM AND THEN WOULD GO DOWN TO A LOWER PLACE AND HEAVE THEM
INTO A BIG CYPRESS STUMP. STADTON SAID HE HAD TO GO DOWN THERE
AND SEE WHY THE BEAR WAS THROWING THEM IN THERE. STADTON WENT
AND HE SAID THE BEAR, HE HAD A HOG IN THAT THERE STUMP AND WAS
FATTENING HIM UP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-07-1972

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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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THREE KNOCKS ON A DOOR AND A DOG HOWLING MEANS DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-30-1965

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THE SIX WHITE BOOMERS

IN AUSTRALIA, CHRISTMAS COMES DURING THE HOT SUMMER (IT'S
USUALLY ABOUT 120 DEGREES IN THE SHADE AND THERE'S NO SHADE IN
AUSTRALIA), SO SANTA CAN'T PULL HIS SLEIGH AROUND BECAUSE THERE'S NO
SNOW. SO HE GET'S A TEAM OF OLD-MAN KANGAROOS AND THEY'RE CALLED THE
SIX WHITE BOOMERS BECAUSE OF THE SOUND THEY MAKE AS THEY'RE PULLING
HIM AROUND. BOOM BOOM BOOM THAT'S WHY THEY CALL THEM THE SIX WHITE
BOOMERS.

Submitter comment: HANDS ARE SLAPPED ON ARMS OF CHAIR TO EMPHASIZE BOOMS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus
BELIEF -- Mammal
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1974

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ANIMAL

IF A BLACK CAT CROSS YOUR PATH IT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION AND OTHERS ABOUT CATS ORIGINATE FROM THE TIME WHEN
CATS WERE THOUGHT OF AS BEING THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: CA11001973

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ANIMAL

ALWAYS KEEP CATS AWAY FROM A BABY BECAUSE CATS SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF
A BABY.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: CA11001973

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THUMP DRAG

THERE WAS A COUNSELOR AT CAMP NAMED JERRY. HE WAS BOSSY TO ABOUT
THREE CHILDREN. ONE DAY, AFTER A CAMP MOVIE, ONE OF THE CHILDREN TOOK
A CLUB AND HIT JERRY ON THE HEAD. THEN THEY TIED HIM UP AND POURED GAS
OVER HIM. THEY LIT A MATCH AND PRETENDED THEY WOULD IGNITE HIM. HALF OF
HIS BODY WAS BURNT. THE NEXT YEAR THE SAME CAMPERS CAME BACK. DURING THE
WINTER SOME OF THE FOOD AND SUPPLIES WERE STOLEN. THE DOCTOR THOUGHT IT
WAS A BEAR. THE CHILDREN CONFESSED WHAT HAD HAPPENED. IT WAS BELIEVED THAT
JERRY WENT INSANE. ONE DAY THEY HEARD A THUMP AND A DRAG. THIS WAS THE SOUND
THAT JERRY MADE BECAUSE HIS
LEG WAS BURNED. ONE DAY HE WALKED INTO A CABIN AND TOOK ONE OF THE
THREE CHILDREN. THE COUNSELOR HEARD THE NOISE AND CAME RUNNING. THUMP
DRAG DROPPED THE CHILD. THE COUNSELOR DECIDED TO GET THUMP DRAG. THEY
FOLLOWED HIM TO A SEWER AND SAW BLOOD AND BONES ALL OVER. THUMP DRAG
SMASHED THE HEADS OF TWO COUNSELORS. ONE COUNSELOR SHOT HIM BUT THUMP
DRAG DISAPPEARED. ONE YEAR LATER HE WAS FOUND DEAD BY A FARMER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

James Callow Keyword(s): BEOWULF ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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