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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ONE WHITE FOOT, BUY IT.
TWO WHITE FEET, TRY IT.
THREE WHITE FEET, SEE HOW IT GOES,
FOUR WHITE FEET, AND WHITE NOSE,
CUT OFF ITS FEET AND THROW IT TO THE CROWS.

Submitter comment: THIS APPLIES TO BUYING A HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ANIMAL NUMBERS ; HUMOR EUPHEMISM SYMBOL OVERSTATEMENT ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION, SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST QUINTET ; INTERACTION INITIAL INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: DACTYL RHYME: FEMININE TRIPLE ; RHYME AABBB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ONE FOR THE MONEY,
TWO FOR THE SHOW,
THREE TO GET READY,
AND FOUR TO GO.

Data entry tech comment: COUNTING OFF AT THE BEGINNING OF A RACE OR GAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: IAMBIC ; NUMBERS, FUNCTION ; QUATRAIN ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABAB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TWO'S A COUPLE,
THREE'S A CROWD,
FOUR ON THE SIDEWALK,
IS NEVER ALLOWED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METER: TROCHAIC ; REFRAIN NUMBERS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB ; VARIATION: FOUR'S TOO MANY, FIVE'S NOT ALLOWED.

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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GOOD LUCK FROM A DEAD SPIRIT WHEN YOU PLAY A NUMBER

IF YOU PUT A GLASS OF WATER UNDER YOUR BED IT WILL MAKE YOUR DEAD
GRANDMOTHER COME BACK TO YOU. HER SPIRIT WILL COME TO YOU AND
BRING YOU GOOD LUCK. IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN BECAUSE A LADY
GOT RICH THAT WAY. YOU PICK OUT THE NUMBER WHICH YOU WANT TO
COME OUT. AND PUT IT INTO THE GLASS OF WATER. THE SPIRIT OF A
DEAD RELATIVE WILL COME TO GET A TASTE OF THE WATER AND THANK YOU
BY MAKING THE NUMBER COME OUT. THIS WAS PASSED ON TO ME BY MY
GRANDMOTHER. SHE CAME FROM THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): GAINING WEALTH ; GAMBLING: PLAYING THE NUMBERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS TOO MUCH FOR 1, JUST RIGHT FOR 2, BUT NOTHING AT ALL FOR
THREE?
A: A SECRET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATED MATTER (A) ; NUMBERS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT S TWO ROWS OF BLACK HORSES ON A RED HILL?
A: A WATERMELON.

Submitter comment: YOU THOUGHT ELEPHANT JOKES WERE BAD?

Where learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): ANIMALS (Q) COLOR ; NUMBERS ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) COLOR

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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FINNISH RIDDLE

Q: HUNDREDS OF HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS OF THOUSANDS.
Q: THERE ARE WINDOWS IN OUR HOUSE.
Q: SATA SATTA, TUGAT TUGATTA ON MEIDAN KOKISSA IKKUNOITA.
A: A FISHING NET.
A: NUOTTA TAI VERKKO JA SEN SIMAT.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; FINLAND

Keyword(s): BUILDING (Q) ; ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORT GOODS (A) ; NUMBERS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS ROUND, CONSTANTLY MOVING AND 75% BLUE?
A: THE EARTH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN GEOGRAPHY CLASS.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) COLOR ; STATES OF BEING (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-10-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS FIVE LETTERS BUT WHEN YOU TAKE TWO AWAY HAS ONE?
A: THE WORD STONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATED ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: TWO ENDS, TWO RINGS WITH A NAIL IN THE MIDDLE.
A: SCISSORS.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HARDWARE (Q) ; NOTION ITEMS ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: I HAVE TWO HOLES AND I NEED TWO FINGERS, THEN I MAKE FROM BIG
WHAT SHOULD BE LITTLE AND RIP EVERYTHING UP THAT SHOULDN'T BE
TOGETHER. WHAT AM I?
A: SCISSORS.

Where learned: HUNGARY

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

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1897

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT ALWAYS GOES UP BUT NEVER GOES DOWN?
A: AGE.

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

Where learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; ANTITHETICAL ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (A)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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RIDDLE

Q: IF YOU WERE A BUS DRIVER, AND YOU PICKED UP THREE PEOPLE AT ONE
BUS STOP, AND EIGHT AT THE OTHER, HOW OLD WOULD YOU BE?
A: THE AUDIENCE'S AGE; IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUESTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) ; PERSONS (Q) ; TRANSPORTATION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DOES EVERYONE IN THE WORLD DO AT THE SAME TIME?
A: GROW OLDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (A) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHY ISN T A NOSE 12 INCHES LONG?
A: BECAUSE THEN IT WOULD BE A FOOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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TRUE RIDDLE

Q: WHY IS IT THAT NO MAN S HAND CAN BE OVER ELEVEN INCHES ACROSS?
A: BECAUSE IF IT WAS TWELVE INCHES IT WOULD BE A FOOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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RIDDLE

Q: WHY IS YOUR ARM ONLY ELEVEN INCHES LONG?
A: BECAUSE IF IT WAS TWELVE IT WOULD BE A FOOT.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT MOST RESEMBLES HALF A CHEESE?
A: THE OTHER HALF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EATABLES (Q) ; NUMBERS ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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NINE PUZZLE RIDDLE

Q: HOW CAN YOU REARRANGE THESE LINES TO MAKE 9? 11111111111
A: NINE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS RIDDLE AT A PARTY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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PETER PIPER (RIDDLE)

Q: PETER PIPER PICKED A PACK OF PICKLED PEPPERS.
HOW MANY PICKLED PEPPERS DID PETER PIPER PICK ETC.
A: (NOT GIVEN)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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