University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications


Browse by

Subject heading



Questions or comments on this site? Please email

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Your search for Needle returned 1 result.

showing 1 item

The Blacksmiths Son

Long ago in a small village there lived a blacksmith. Now although blacksmiths were poor, they were, nevertheless, held in respect because they were the strongest men in the village.

People used to go to the blacksmith for advice and help. This particular balcksmithhad one son, and the blacksmith wanted his son to be a blacksmith also. But the son was lazy and did not like to work. One day he told his father: "father, I have a very brilliant idea. I'm going to learn your trade in an easy way. Here's my plan: Put me in a large basket above yuor workshop and I will watch everything you do. And by watching you constantly, I will earn your trade."

So the son was put in the basket and watched his father fort several months. Then the son said to his father: "Father, I think I'm ready." And so the father gave the son tools, and a large piece of iron, and said to his son: "now son, what are you going to make?"

"Father," the son said, "I think I'll make a hammer."

"Son," the father said, "If you can make a hammer, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me five years to learn how to make a hammer." And the son worked feverishly for several days but to no avail. So the son went to his father and said: "Father, I think I'll make a horseshoe instead."

The father said; "Son, if you can make a horseshoe, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me three years to learn how to make a horseshoe." The son again went out, pounding and forming, but to no avail. He said to the fahter: "Father, I think I will make a nail instead of a horseshoe."

The fahter said: "Son, if you can make a nail, you will be a better blacksmith than I, because it took me two years to learn how to make a nail." The son worked for several hours, but to no avail. He said to his father: "Father, I will make something you never made. I will make a needle."

"Son," said the father, "if you make a needle, you will be a better blacksmith than I, for no smith has made a needle. " And so, the son worked and worked until finally there was nothing left. but he did not give up. He said: "Father, I will make something with no iron at all."

"Son, if you can make something without iron, it will indeed make you a great blacksmith," the father replied.

The son said: "Come watch, Father." He took a pair of tongs and heated them red hot, and suddenly plunged them into a barrel of water, and said: "Father, I did it. I made a pss."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Boggs Number [ B665] crossed out and B646 is written next to it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Keyword(s): Blacksmith ; FAMILY ; Father ; Hammer ; HORSESHOE ; HUMOR ; IRON ; Learn ; Lesson ; Needle ; Outsmart ; Skill ; Son ; TRADE ; Wise ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

View just this record

showing 1 item

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Associate Dean for Technical Services and Library Systems for any questions regarding this web site.