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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: THERE IS A MAN LYING NEXT TO A TABLE DEAD. THERE IS A PISTOL NEXT
TO HIM THAT HAS JUST BEEN FIRED. HE DID NOT KILL HIMSELF. THERE ARE
ALSO 53 OTHER OBJECTS IN THE ROOM. WHY WAS HE KILLED?
A: THE 53 OTHER OBJECTS ARE CARDS AND THE MAN WAS SHOT FOR CHEATING.

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

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ENTERTAINMENT AND ; FURNITURE (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-26-1969

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HANDLESS - A PRIVATIONAL RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS TWO ARMS BUT NO HANDS?
A: AN ARMCHAIR.

Submitter comment: HEARD BY INFORMANT FIVE YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HUNTINGTON WOODS

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-28-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS ARMS BUT CANNOT REACH?
A: AN ARMCHAIR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS IT THAT WHEN YOU REMOVE IT, YOU DO NOT USE IT,
AND WHEN YOU REPLACE IT, YOU USE IT?
A: THE LID OF A JAPANESE BATH TUB.

Submitter comment: N.B. THE JAPANESE BATH TUB IS A WOODEN, DEEP TUB COVERED WITH A LID.
WHEN NOT IN USE, THE BATH IS COVERED WITH THE LID.
INFORMANT LIVES IN JAPAN AND LEARNED THE ABOVE FROM HIS CHILDREN.

Where learned: LETTER ; JAPAN

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; CAUSAL OPPOSITIONAL ; FURNITURE (A) ; PUZZLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 07-28-1964

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS FOUR LEGS AND ONE FOOT?
A: A BED.

Data entry tech comment: 4 OTHER EXAMPLES IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: TEXAS ; EDINBUROUGH

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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RIDDLE

Q: IT HAS A HEAD, BUT IT CAN NOT THINK./ IT HAS FOUR FEET, BUT IT
CAN NOT WALK./ WHAT IS IT?
A: A BED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS 4 LEGS AND CAN NOT WALK?
A: A BED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: THOUGH IT WAS MADE WELL IN THE BEGINNING AND THOUGH IT IS NEVER
BROKEN, IT STILL HAS TO BE REMADE EACH DAY.
A: BED.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITIONAL ; FURNITURE (A) ; PUZZLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS TWO ARMS AND NO HANDS?
A: A CHAIR.

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: RUSSELL INDUSTRIAL CENTER

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 12-03-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS FOUR LEGS BUT CANNOT WALK?
A: A CHAIR.

Data entry tech comment: A DUPLICATE IN 5 X 8 CARD FILES

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS LEGS BUT CANNOT WALK?
A: A TABLE.

Data entry tech comment: A DUPLICATE IN 5 X 8 CARD FILES

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-25-1965

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FINNISH RIDDLE

Q: DRESSES THREE TIMES A DAY, BUT IS NUDE MOST OF THE TIME.
Q: KOMESTI PAIVASSA PAALLENSA PUKEE, ENIMMAT AJAT ALASTI SEISOO.
A: A TABLE - RUOKAPOYTA.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; FINLAND

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; CAUSAL ; FURNITURE (A) ; STATE OF BEING (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: KETURI PONAICIUKAI ZENA KEPURE DEVI.(FOUR LORDS WEAR ONE HAT.)
A: A TABLE - STALAS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FURNITURE (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; PERSONS (Q) ; WEARABLE (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: THE BENCH GETS TIRED, BUT NOT THE SITTER.
A: A MAN ON A HORSE.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMALS (A) ; FURNITURE (Q) ; PERSONS (A) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS TAKE OFF LAST BEFORE YOU GET INTO BED?
A: YOU TAKE YOUR FEET OFF THE FLOOR.

Data entry tech comment: TWO VARIANTS IN U OF D FOLKLORE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; FURNITURE (Q) ; LITERAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (A)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: FOUR LEGS UP, FOUR LEGS DOWN/ SOFT IN THE MIDDLE, HARD ALL AROUND.
A: A BED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITONAL ; FURNITURE (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Riddle True Riddle

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RIDDLE IN VERSE

Q: I'M WIDE AT THE MOUTH/ I HAVE A BED/ I RISE AND I FALL/ I HAVE
A HEAD.
A: RIVER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; FURNITURE (Q) ; NATURAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Riddle True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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BED

IF YOU MAKE YOUR BED HARD, LAY IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PERSONAL ADVICE FURNITURE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-12-1972

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Chinese custom

From the time of death of a family member the remaining part
of the family cannot sit on chairs. Even during the funeral
service they must sit on the floor.

Where learned: CHINA

Keyword(s): Furniture ; Mourners

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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Never rock an empty rocking chair because it invites
an evil spirit into it.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): Furniture

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 00001950S

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