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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BACKACHE REMEDY (ITALIAN)

TAKE A PIECE OF CLOTH, PUT A HALF DOLLAR IN IT.
LAY ON YOUR STOMACH, SOMEONE RUBS YOUR BACK.
LIGHT THE CLOTH ON THE PERSON'S BACK AND COVER WITH GLASS.
DO THIS 5 TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): BACKACHE ; HEAT REMEDY ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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GOOD LUCK

TAKE THREE VERY SILVER QUARTERS AND PUT THEM ON YOUR BACK.
NEXT TAKE A GLASS AND PUT IT OVER THE THREE QUARTERS.
FINALLY, LIGHT A CANDLE UNDER THE GLASS AND IT WILL DRAW
ALL OF THE EVIL SPIRITS OUT OF YOUR BACK.

Submitter comment: HIS GRANDMOTHER TOLD HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; J L HUDSONS COMPANY

Keyword(s): BACKACHE ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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Frogs and Pain

Years ago, people had rainbarrels. They would use the water for many purposes. With this old aunt of mine, she kept frogs in this rainbarrel. (If anyone asks, there were floats of cork in the rainbarrel that the frogs could hop on; they can't stay in the water all the time of they'd drown.) She had a good reason for it, too!

Because she was tiny and worked very hard, she had a weak back. When she would get a severe backache, she would send her son out to the rainbarrel to get a frog. Then her son would put the frog in her girdle. Now, she was tiny and wore a girdle for back support. Wherever the pain was, the frog would go and it would sit right where the pain was. When the frog died, the pain was gone. (It took about 15 minutes for the frog to die.) The frog would take the pain away!

Submitter comment:

[Question by Collector:] How did the frog know where the pain was?

[Answer by Informant:] The frog always goes to where the pain is localized. This never failed to work with her and all her children do the same. Men do the same with a tightly wrapped sheet around their backs in stead of a girdle.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; BACKACHE ; CURE ; FROG ; Girdle ; MEDICAL ; Medicinal ; PAIN ; Pain Remedy

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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