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The Clever Chef

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

There once was a king who demanded that his chef prepare him a different type of meat for each principle meal. when the chef ran out of meats it would mean his death.

Quite naturally, the king soon ran out of chefs and volunteers for the job were few and far between. in fact, things got so bad that the king had to draft his subjects into the job. One of these peasants got drafted and day after day he prepared a different type of meat. However, as time went by, he began to run out of choices. Finally the day arrived when he had none. In desperation, he went to the palace barn at milking time and collected the cow manure as it was being expelled. That night he served it to the king. Upon tasting it, the king called for the chef in order that he might compliment him on the most delicious meat of all. When asked where it came from, the chef replied "it is that which hasn't fallen, your majesty."

Submitter comment:

This is translated from Polish and I feel it has lost its humor in translation.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

A grammatical correction was made to the Collector's spelling: Changing it's to its.

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

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Class ; COOKING ; Deception ; FECES ; Fool ; IGNORANCE ; King ; Peasant ; ROYALTY ; Scat ; SCATOLOGICAL ; Scatological Humor ; Social Class ; Trickery ; Wit

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

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ALTHOUGH THE PUERTO RICAN PEASANT (JIBARO) WALKS INTO
THE SEA DURING FESTIVAL (AT MIDNIGHT ON THE SAINT'S DAY), HE WILL NOT GO IN ANY OTHER TIME. HE CANNOT SWIM.
THIS IS A PURPOSEFUL OMISSION. IN THE PAST, MANY OF
THEM MADE A GOOD PART OF THEIR LIVING FISHING IN WATERS
WHICH WERE OCCASIONALLY KNOWN TO BE SHARK INFESTED.
THE THEORY WAS THAT IF YOU COULDN'T SWIM, YOU WOULD
DROWN QUICKLY IF YOU FELL IN. THEN YOU WOULDN'T FEEL
IT WHEN THE SHARK GOT YOU.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: PUERTO RICO ; HATO REY

Keyword(s): Peasant ; Poor ; Puerto Rico ; SUPERSTITION ; Swim ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

I HAD OBSERVED THAT THE PUERTO RICAN PEASANTRY (JIBAROS) WERE
VERY (UNDERLINED) CLEAN PEOPLE. THEIR SHACKS, WHILE
REFLECTING AN EXTREME LEVEL OF POVERTY, WERE SPOTLESS. THE
CHILDREN WERE DRESSED IN CLOTHES WHICH SHOWED THAT SOMEBODY
CARED. THEY WERE STARCHED AND IRONED WITH GREAT CARE. THE
BOYS INVARIABLY WORE LITTLE SPORT SHIRTS WHICH LOOKED NEW, AND
MUST HAVE COST A LARGE PORTION OF THE FAMILY'S INCOME. KNOWING
HOW THESE PEOPLE VALUED THEIR MALE CHILDREN, I COULDN'T HELP
WONDERING WHY THE LITTLE BOYS (UNDER FOUR) ALWAYS RAN AROUND
IN THEIR IMMACULATE SHIRTS--ONLY. NEVER DID THEY WEAR ANY
GARMENT ON THE LOWER PART OF THE BODY. WHY--IF THEY COULD
AFFORD SHIRTS, WHY NOT PANTS?
IT IS THE BELIEF THAT A BOY WILL BE MACHO (VIRILE) IF THE
SUN IS ALLOWED TO SHINE ON HIS GENITALIA AS MUCH OF THE TIME
AS POSSIBLE WHILE HE IS LITTLE. LITTLE GIRLS ARE ALWAYS
COVERED UP.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: PUERTO RICO ; SANTURCE

Keyword(s): Genitalia ; Machismo ; MASCULINITY ; Peasants ; Poor ; Puerto Rico ; Sunshine

James Callow Keyword(s): CLEANLINESS ; SEX

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Lower body and legs
BELIEF -- P566

Date learned: 00001963 ca.

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