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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: JOHN IS IN THE OTHER ROOM SLEEPING. MARY IS ON THE FLOOR DEAD.
THERE IS WATER ON THE FLOOR NEAR MARY. THERE IS ALSO BROKEN GLASS
ON THE FLOOR NEAR MARY. MARY DID NOT DIE OF ANY WOUNDS.
HOW DID MARY DIE?
A: JOHN IS A CAT. MARY IS A FISH. JOHN KNOCKED THE FISH BOWL OFF
THE STAND AND IT BROKE AND MARY DIED OF SUFFICATION (SUFFOCATION).

Submitter comment:

YES AND NO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RIDDLE ARE ASKED OF THE RIDDLER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANIMALS (A)

James Callow Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEM (Q) ; NAMES FOR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name
RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-26-1969

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THERE IS A HUNGARIAN WORD FOR THE BOOGIE-MAN. IT IS CUCKOO-
BETCHA. IT MEANS CRAZYMAN OR EVILMAN. IT USED TO SCARE ME
A LOT.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
SPEECH -- Proper Name

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SUPERSTITION

THE SEX OF THE NEXT CHILD CAN BE DETERMINED BY WHETHER THE CHILD SAYS
MOMMY OR DADDY FIRST.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 02-28-1971

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LEGEND OF SEAWEED SALLY

AT CAMP BIG SILVER BOY'S CLUB SUMMER CAMP, AT PICKNEY MICHIGAN
THERE WAS A GHOST ACROSS THE LAKE CALLED SEAWEED SALLY. THE BOYS
WERE WARNED TO WATCH FOR HER BECAUSE SHE KIDNAPPED LITTLE BOYS.

Where learned: TOLEDO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 12-00-1968

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GHOST IN WHITE

A WOMAN IN WHITE ROAMS THE WOODS OF BELLE ISLE NEAR DOWNTOWN DETROIT WITH A HOOK-HANDED FRIEND.
THIS STORY HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
SPEECH -- Proper Name

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THE GRIM REAPER

THE WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL ATHLETICS HAS CREATED A NUMBER OF
IMAGINARY CREATURES. ONE IS WELL KNOWN TO THE MANY ROOKIES
WHO HAVE FAILED TO MAKE THE GRADE. GEORGE ATTEMPTED TO MAKE THE
CLEVELAND BROWNS FOOTBALL TEAM THIS PAST SUMMER. HE FAILED.
HE MENTIONED THAT THE GRIM REAPER WAS ALWAYS PRESENT. WHEN YOU
WERE CALLED TO THE COACH:S OFFICE, 'THE REAPER' HAD STRUCK AND
HIS PRESENCE WAS FELT. THIS CREATURE SEEMS TO BE RATHER UNIVERSAL
IN CONJUNCTION WITH AMERICAN FOOTBALL.

Submitter comment: GEORGE TOLD ME THIS AFTER RETURNING TO DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 08-00-1964

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ST. PAT

THE MOST POPULAR AND WIDE-SPREAD STORY ABOUT SAINT PATRICK IS
THAT THANKS TO HIM, IRELAND HAS NO SNAKES. IT IS BELIEVED THAT
ST. PAT REMOVED THEM IN PIED PIPER FASHION.

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Religious hero
SPEECH -- Proper Name
SPEECH -- To Be Heard

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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LEGEND OF A SAINT

WHENEVER A PERSON FINDS THEMSELF IN A DIFFICULT SITUATION
WHICH THEY CANNOT SOLVE OR WORK OUT, THEY SHOULD SAY A PRAYER
TO ST. JUDE, HELPER OF DESPERATE CASES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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MIRACLE OF ST. PAUL

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH IN MALTA IS FREQUENTLY VISITED BY MANY
TOURISTS. THERE IS A WALL OF LIMESTONE WHERE THE TOURISTS CHIP OFF
THE STONE FOR A SOUVENIR. NO MATTER HOW MANY TOURISTS CHIP OFF STONE
IT ALWAYS REMAINS THE SAME. THIS IS THE MIRACLE OF ST. PAUL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Holy placeChurchTemple
BELIEF -- Religious hero
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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HARVEST

SIVIETA ZOFYA, COKTOSY ROZEVIYA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RHYME ; TRANSLATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RELIGIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU SAY A HAIL MARY FOR EACH ONE OF YOUR TEETH, SAINT
POLLONIA WILL PROTECT YOUR TEETH FROM HARM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

THE ARMENIAN SANTA CLAUS IS CALLED BUFFANA. IT IS A LEGEND
THAT AT CHRISTMAS TIME BUFFANA GOES THROUGH ALL THE STREETS OF
ARMENIA AND PASSES OUT PRESENTS TO ALL THE POOR CHILDREN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Religious hero
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 02-26-1971

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FIRE PREVENTION- ALLGAU, BAVARIA, GERMANY

IN ORDER TO PREVENT HOUSE FIRES, ALWAYS KEEP A PICTURE
OF ST. FLORIAN IN THE HOME.

Where learned: WARREN ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; PENNSYLVANIA, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Use of Object
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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MOTHER AND CHILD

THE CHURCH OF ST. LUKE IN BOLOGNA, ITALY, HOUSES THE FAMOUS
JEWEL STUDDED PICTURE OF THE MADONNA AND CHILD WHICH IS
BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN PAINTED BY ST. LUKE. A GREAT MANY MIRACLES
ARE ATTRIBUTED TO IT.

Where learned: TRENTON ; NEW JERSEY, ASSUMED

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Holy placeChurchTemple
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Use of Object
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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MOTHER'S LOTION

MRS. ANGELA MAGOLEN, WHO WAS BORN IN POLAND AND LATER CAME
TO AMERICA, NOW LIVING IN WYANDOTTE, HAD A VISION OF THE
BLESSED VIRGIN IN A DREAM. OUR LADY GAVE HER THE RECIPE
FOR A HEALING LOTION WHICH WAS TO CURE MANY PEOPLE. SHE USED IT
FOR THE FIRST TIME TO CURE HER HUSBAND WHO WAS STRUCK DOWN WITH
A CORONARY. SHE WAS IN DOUBT ABOUT MAKING THE LOTION BUT FATHER
SOLANUS CASEY, A WIDELY K,NOWN CAPUCHIN MONK URGED HER TO MAKE IT
AND TO CALL IT 'MOTHER'S LOTION.'

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- P780
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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NUNS PRAY TO ST. PATRICK

WHEN NUNS ARE DRIVING IN A CAR AND WANT TO GET SOMEWHERE IN
A HURRY, THEY PRAY TO ST. PATRICK TO MAKE THE LIGHTS FREEZE
GREEN.

Submitter comment: THIS IS PRACTICED BY THE INFORMANT'S DAUGHTER, WHO IS A NUN,
AND SAID IT IS COMMON PRACTICE AMONG NUNS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BELIEF IN WITCHES

SHARON MCCORMICK'S GRANDMOTHER AND GREAT GRANDMOTHER,
WHO WERE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH, WERE WITCHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 09-24-1969

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HOW GOD MADE "FLUTTER-BYS"

WELL, THE LORD HAD JUST FINISHED MAKING THE WORLD AND HE SAT BACK
IN HIS BIG OL' ROCKER TO LOOK IT OVER. "NOT A BAD JOB, IF I SAY SO
MYSELF." HE LIT UP A BIG, FINE CIGAR AND WAS FEELING PRETTY GOOD
ABOUT IT UNTIL HE NOTICED THAT THE WORLD LOOKED KIND OF BARE. THE
FACT OF THE MATTER WAS THERE WASN'T A THING TO THE WORLD EXCEPT LAND,
TREES AND A LOTS OF WATER. THERE WAS EVEN MORE WATER THAN LAND.
"WONDER HOW I DID THAT," THE LORD SAID. "SEEMS TO ME I'D PLANNED FOR
THERE TO BE MORE LANDTHAN WATER." WELL, HE SHRUGGED HIS SHOULDERS AND
TURNED HIS MIND TO MAKE THE WORLD LOOK A BIT PRETTIER. "GIMME MY
PRUNING SHEARS," HE CALLED OUT AND ONE OF THE CUTE, LITTLE ANGELS RAN
AND GOT THEM. THEN THE GREAT LORD ALMIGHTY LEANED OUT OF HIS ROCKING
CHAIR, TRIMMED THE TREES, AND THREW THE TRIMMINGS ALL OVER THE EMPTY
GROUND. THAT'S WHAT MADE THE GRASS, BUSHES, AND ALL THE FLOWERS.
"NOW THAT DON'T LOOK TOO BAD," HE SAID AND LEANED BACK. "YESSIRY
I'VE DONE MADE A AWFUL PRETTY WORLD." AND SO SAYING, HE WENT TO BED
TO REST UP FROM ALL THAT WORK. THE NEXT MORNING THE LORD HADN'T EVEN
HAD ONE EYE OPEN YET, WHEN HE HEARD THE FLOWERS WHISPERING AMONG
THEMSELVES, "IT'S LONELY DOWN HERE"; THE OTHER FLOWER SAID, "WE
WERE PUT HERE TO KEEP THE GROUND COMPANY AND MAKE EVERYTHING LOOK
PRETTY, BUT IT SURE IS MIGHTY LONELY." THE LORD SHOOK HIS HEAD IN
DISGUST. "HAVE MERCY, FATHER. YOU GET THROUGH MAKING ONE THANG AND
AND THE NEXT THANG YOU KNOW YOU GOTTA MAKE SOMETHING TO GO WITH THE
FIRST. GIMME THEM LITTLE SHEARS, ONE OF YOU ANGELS, PLEASE." AN
ANGEL BROUGHT HIM THE TEENICHY PAIR OF SHEARS AND HE BENT OVER TO THE
EARTH AND STARTED SNIPPING LITTLE PIECES OFF OF EVERYTHING - THE SKY,
THE GROUND, THE TREES, THE ANIMALS, THE BUSHES, THE FLOWERS;
EVERYTHING HE PUT HIS SHEARS ON, GOT SNIPPED. "THE VERY IDEA OF
GETTING COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WORLD AND IT AIN'T EVEN A DAY OLD.
THAT'S GRATITUDE." THE LORD HAD A FEELING HE WAS GOING TO BE GETTING
COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WORLD FROM THEN ON. HE WAS SO MAD THAT HE DID
NOT CARE WHAT HE SNIPPED - SNIP, SNIP, ALL MORNING LONG. WELL, WHEN
THE FOLKS LOOKED UP AND SAW THE TINY CLIPPINGS FLUTTERING AROUND.
THEY CALLED THEM FLUTTER-BYS. THE BLUE FLUTTER-BYS HAD BEEN SNIPPED
FROM THE SKY; THE YELLOW FLUTTER-BYS HAD BEEN CLIPPINGS FROM THE SUN;
AND THERE WERE THE LORD'S WHITE FLUTTER-BYS THAT WERE CLIPPINGS FROM
THE STARS. EVERY COLOR FLUTTER-BY YOU COULD THINK OF WAS FLUTTERING
AROUND.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS ANOTHER LONG NARRATIVE WITH A STRONG BLACK IMAGE, AS REFERRED
TO IN MY COLLECTION'S SEQUENCE NUMBER 731772-1; I GET THE
IMPRESSION THAT THIS IS A BLACK GOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Butterfly ; CREATION ; ETYMOLOGY ; God ; NAME ; Origin ; PERSONIFICATION ; Tale

James Callow Keyword(s): PERSONIFICATION

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Animal Life
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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SOME OF THE INDIAN CHILDREN I GREW UP WITH HAD THE MOST INTERESTING
NAMES, SUCH AS ANNIE BIG TOM, ANNIE BULL-OVER-THE-HILL, BLIND
BARNABY, EUNA ROSE SITS-DOWN-SPOTTED AND OTHERS.

Submitter comment: HOW OLD WERE THOSE KIDS BEFORE THEY COULD SAY THEIR NAMES?

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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NOT ENTERED

ON MOTHER,S SIDE, ALL VIRGINS WHOSE NAME BEGAN WITH A "C" MARRIED
A MAN WHOSE NAME ALSO BEGAN WITH A "C".

Submitter comment: FOR FIVE GENERATIONS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD 201

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 11-03-1971

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