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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF

IF YOU PLACE A WARM BRICK AT THE FOOT OF YOUR BED UNDER THE COVERS
DURING THE WINTER YOU WILL NOT ONLY STAY WARM, BUT YOU WILL ALSO BE
PROTECTED FROM EVIL SPIRITS THAT TRY TO ENTER YOUR BODY. THESE
SPIRITS ARE ONLY ACTIVE DURING THE WINTER BECAUSE THE COLD DRIVES
THEM OUT OF THEIR GRAVES AT NIGHT.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; WEATHERLY

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 00001960S

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OMENS OF SPRING

IF YOU SEE A RED CARDINAL BUILDING A NEST IN A TREE, THAT MEANS THAT
SPRING IS ONLY A MONTH AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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IN WINTER YOUR HAIR GROWS FASTER.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): WINTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 11-02-1971

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IF THE 24TH OF AUGUST BE BRIGHT AND CLEAR,
IF THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST BE UNUSUALLY WARM,
THE WINTER WILL BE WHITE, COLD, AND LONG
THEN HOPE FOR A PROSPEROUS AUTUMN THAT YEAR.

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR ; METONYMY: WHITE FOR SNOW ; TEMPERATURE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 24
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Measure of time AutumnFall
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 02-15-1968

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WEATHER PREDICTION

A LONG, HOT SUMMER WARNS OF A LONG, HARSH WINTER.

Submitter comment: REPETITION OF THE PHRASE, A LONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND LEDGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Measure of time Summer

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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WEATHER PREDICTION

ONION SKINS VERY THIN, MILDER WINTER COMING IN;
ONION SKINS VERY TOUGH, WINTER'S COMING COLD AND ROUGH.

Submitter comment: INTERNAL RHYME IN EACH LINE. USES AN AABB RHYME PATTERN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND LEDGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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IF CROPS PRODUCE AN UNUSUALLY HIGH YIELD, THEN IT IS A SIGN OF A
LONG HARD WINTER.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER FATHER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Ortonville

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 10-00-1987 ; 00001930S CA.

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When you find a wooly caterpillar in the
summer you should always pick it up and look
at it because it will foretell the weather
that coming winter. There is a black band
around its middle. If the band is pretty
small there will be a mild winter. But the
larger the band the more harsh and the longer
the winter will be.

Submitter comment: Marty swears that this always works. He didn't
know if there was any biological truth to this.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Allegan

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Measure of time Summer
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00001970S

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When I was younger my mother always used to tell me to never
go outside with a wet head in the winter because my head would
freeze and I would catch a cold.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

James Callow Keyword(s): TEMPERATURE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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The Ant and the Grasshopper

All day long all through the warm days of summer, a green
grasshopper went happily about. Whenever the grasshopper was
thirsty, he would sip nectar from any plant he saw. One
afternoon, as the grasshopper was leaping from flower to flower,
he saw beneath him a little black ant struggling to carry a fat
leaf bigger than himself. "Little friend," said the grasshopper,
"What are you doing down there?" "Why, I am carrying this leaf
off to my nest. I must fill my nest with food to last through
winter." "Winter?" said the grasshopper. "Who cares about
winter? Why don't you climb up to this flower and enjoy its
sweet nectar? Winter will take care of itself." "That isn't the
way things work in this world," said the ant. "Winter will be
here soon. The flowers will be gone, and there will be nothing
to eat." "Well, suit yourself," said the grasshopper. And off
he went, singing happily and having no cares at all. The ant
returned to carry each leaf, but he did not mind. He knew he
would have enough to last the winter. Soon the cold weather
came. The ant was snug in his
nest with plenty of food to eat. The grasshopper? He had
nothing to eat and soon was no more. A WISE PERSON KNOWS THAT
SUMMER DOES NOT LAST FOREVER.

Submitter comment: My informant remembers reading this fable in Aesop.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Keyword(s): Nectar = A sweet liquid secreted by plants

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal Tale
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 11-00-1991

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A GIRL OR A WOMAN SHOULD NOT TAKE A BATH DURING HER MENSES,
ESPECIALLY IN THE WINTER TIME.

Where learned: ALABAMA, ASSUMED ; MONTGOMERY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WEATHER SIGN

WHEN SHUCKS ON CORN GROW VERY THICK, IT MEANS THERE WILL
BE A BAD WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; RED BOILING SPRINGS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 02-19-1972

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A HEAVY SPIDER IS ANOTHER SIGN OF A HARD WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; WARTRACE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 06-18-1972

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IF THE SHUCK IS TIGHT ON AN EAR OF CORN, THERE WILL
BE A HARD WINER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; WARTRACE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

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IF THE GROUND HOG SEES HIS SHADOW ON GROUNDHOG'S DAY,
FEBRUARY 2, WE WILL HAVE SIX WEEKS (MORE) OF WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; FRANKLIN

Subject headings: 686 Sixths / Six
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 2 Candlemas Groundhog Day
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF THE BARK ON TREES GROWS A LOT, IT WILL BE A HARD WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter

Date learned: 08-03-1968

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IF HEAVY SHUCKS APPEAR ON THE CORN DURING HE FALL HARVEST, IT
MEANS A BAD WINTER IS TO FOLLOW.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Measure of time AutumnFall

Date learned: 03-22-1969

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THE NUMBER OF FOGS IN AUGUST EQUALS THE NUMBER OF SNOWS
THAT WILL FALL THAT WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 03-29-1969

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