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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE,
THINGS ARE MIGHTY DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE.
ONCE I HAD TO GO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,
I WAS SUCH A LITTLE FELLOW, I DIDN'T FIT RIGHT.
I TIPPED THE DARN THING OVER AND GOD! WAS I A SIGHT!
WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE.

Submitter comment: MY DAD OFTEN RECITED THE FOLLOWING NURSERY RHYME TO
MY SISTERS AND ME WHEN WE WERE SAD. IT ALWAYS BROUGHT
A SMILE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT TOILET ; BACKHOUSE=PRIVY OUTHOUSE ; REPETITION SLANG HUMOR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBBA ; UNDERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RETURN OF THE DEAD

AROUND 1940 A WOMAN NAMED BESSIE SABOL DIED IN SOUTHWEST
DETROIT. MRS. HURLEY ASSISTED IN THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR BURIAL
AND SUBSEQUENTLY WAS ASKED TO STAY WITH THE DAUGHTER OF THE
WOMAN, WHO FEARED LIVING ALONE IN THE HOME. SEVERAL OTHERS
HAD STAYED WITH THE WOMAN, BUT HAD LEFT WITH STORIES OF A
GHOST IN THE HOME. MRS. HURLEY STAYED IN THE HOME FOR
2 DAYS. THE THIRD NIGHT LOUD BANGING AND CLANGING NOISES
WERE HEARD IN THE PANTRY, MRS. HURLEY WENT TO
INVESTIGATE AND SAW THE GHOST OF THE DEAD WOMAN CLEANING UP THE
MESS THAT THE DAUGHTER HAD LEFT IN THE PANTRY. THE POTS AND PANS
WERE SCATTERED ALL ABOUT. THIS WOMAN HAD BEEN KNOWN FOR
HER NEATNESS. MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD THE DAUGHTER THAT AS LONG
AS SHE KEPT THE PANTRY CLEAN, THE NOISES WOULD STOP. THEY
DID, AND THEY HAVEN'T BEEN HEARD SINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): GHOST RETURNS TO DO HOUSEWORK

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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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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RIDDLE

Q: HAIR IN THE MIDDLE AND FAT ALL AROUND.
A: A CANDLE

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: SUDEGE ZSUOLAS BE ANGLIUZ, BE PELENUZ. (AN OAK BURNED UP WITHOUT
LEAVING COALS OR ASHES.)
A: TVAKE - A CANDLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CAUSAL ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; NATURAL PHENOMENA (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: WITHOUT EARS, WITHOUT EYES IT LEADS THE BLIND.
A: A CANE.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PERSON (Q) BLIND

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS HANDS AND NO FEET?
A: A CLOCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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FINNISH RIDDLE

Q: TWO MEN, TWELVE COUNTRIES, PLAYING IN EVERY COUNTRY.
KAKSI MIESTA, KAKSITOISTA MAANPAIKKAA, JOKA MAANPAIKASSA SOITETAAN.
A: A CLOCK. ( KELLO.)

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; FINLAND

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; PARTICULAR AREAS (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS VERY BLACK AND YET ENLIGHTENS THE WORLD?
A: INK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL ; COLOR (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-11-1970

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS A THOUSAND HOLES AND HOLDS WATER?
A: A SPONGE.

Data entry tech comment: 3 OTHER EXAMPLES IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTITHETICAL ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; NATURAL PHENOMENA (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS A THOUSAND EYES AND CAN'T SEE?
A: A SPONGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT GETS WETTER AND WETTER AS IT DRIES?
A: A TOWEL.

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

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Keyword(s): CAUSAL ; HOUSEHOLD ITEM (A) ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT GOES UP WHEN THE RAIN COMES DOWN?
A: AN UMBRELLA.

Data entry tech comment: 2 MORE EXAMPLES ARE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; NATURAL PHENOMENA (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT SITS IN A CORNER IN NICE WEATHER AND GOES OUTSIDE IN RAINY
WEATHER?
A: AN UMBRELLA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-04-1970

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT CAN GO UP A CHIMNEY DOWN, BUT CAN NOT GO DOWN A CHIMNEY UP?
A: AN UMBRELLA.

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

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL ; HARDWARE (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A)

James Callow Keyword(s): CHIASMUS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: IT SPINS AROUND BUT IS NOT (A) SPINNING WHEEL; IT CAN WALK A ROPE
BUT IT IS NOT A MONKEY.
A: A SPIDER.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; SHIPLE HALL

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (Q) ; INSECTS (A)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: KAS AUDSIA BE STAKLUZ? (WHAT WEAVES WITHOUT A LOOM?)
A: VORAS - A SPIDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTION (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (Q) ; INSECTS (A) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-08-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: THE LONGER I LIVE, THE SMALLER I GROW. YOU CAN STOP WHAT I'M DOING
WITH JUST ONE BLOW. WHAT AM I?
A: A CANDLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; STATE OF BEING (Q)

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

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RIDDLE

Q: ITS HANDS ARE ALWAYS ON ITS FACE./ WHEN IT GOES, IT STAYS IN ONE
PLACE./ WHAT IS IT?
A: A CLOCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOUSEHOLD ITEMS ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

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RIDDLE

Q: ILE ICMLE, NE NE, A XOGUMLE I DE.
Q: DOESN'T EAT, DOESN'T DRINK, BUT RUNS AND RINGS.
A: CLOCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM GRANDMOTHER IN UKRAINE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (A) ; PRIVATIONAL OPPOSITIONAL

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

Date learned: 10-14-1967

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