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THE VIPER STORY

A COUPLE HAD JUST GOTTEN MARRIED AND THEY LOOKED FOR AN APARTMENT
TO LIVE IN. THEY FOUND ONE ON THE SEVENTH FLOOR OF AN APARTMENT
BUILDING AND TWO DAYS LATER THEY MOVED IN. THE FIRST NIGHT THEY
WERE THERE THEY WERE SITTING IN THE LIVING ROOM WHEN THEY HEARD A
STRANGE SOUND FROM THE FIRST FLOOR. THERE WAS THIS VOICE CALLING
VERY MOURNFULLY, I'M THE VIPER. THEY GOT A LITTLE WORRIED BUT DIDN'T
THINK MUCH OF IT TIL THEY REALIZED THAT THE VOICE WAS COMING CLOSER.
THEY HEARD IT ON THE SECOND FLOOR SAYING, I'M THE VIPER. SOON THEY
HEARD IT EVEN CLOSER, ON THE THIRD FLOOR SAYING, I'M THE VIPER. BY
NOW THEY WERE PRETTY SCARED AND THE HUSBAND VENTURED OUT INTO THE
HALL WHERE HE COULD HEAR FOOTSTEPS COMING UP THE STAIRS FROM BELOW
AND HE STAYED THERE TIL HE HEARD I'M THE VIPER COMING FROM THE
FOURTH FLOOR. THEN HE RAN BACK INTO THE ROOM. BY THIS TIME THE
FOOTSTEPS WERE AUDIBLE EVEN INSIDE THE APARTMENT AND THEY LISTENED
WHILE IT CLIMBED TO THE FIFTH FLOOR, AND IT SAID I'M THE VIPER.
THEN IT SLOWLY CLIMBED THE STAIRS TO THE SIXTH FLOOR AND SAID I'M
THE VIPER. NOW IT WAS GETTING VERY CLOSE AND THEY HEARD EACH STEP
AS IT CLIMBED TO THEIR FLOOR. THEY COULD HEAR IT STOP OUTSIDE THEIR
DOOR AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE DOOR FLEW OPEN AND A LITTLE MAN
CAME IN AND SAID, I'M THE VINDOW VIPER, VANT YOUR VINDOWS VIPED?

Submitter comment: THIS STORY IS TOLD VERY OMINOUSLY WITH THE I'M THE VIPERS BEING
A LITTLE LOUDER AND MORE HAUNTING EACH TIME. IT ALSO HELPS TO THROW
IN THE SOUND OF STAIRS BEING CLIMBED AT APPROPRIATE TIMES.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN WIPER ; VIPER=SNAKE ANIMAL

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00001960S

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Saying

Hot as a snake

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Hot ; Language ; METAPHOR ; Saying ; SIMILE ; Snake

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words

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Saying

Crooked as a snake.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Crooked ; Language ; Saying ; Snake ; Untrustworthy

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words

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A RATTLESNAKE PILOT (COPPERHEAD) WILL BE FOLLOWED IN
THE SAME PATH BY A RATTLESNAKE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): SNAKES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 06-14-1972

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Belief: Animal

Warding off Snake Belief:

If you see a snake, say "my back, my belly" ten times and it should go away.

Submitter comment:

Informaer has tried it several times and it worked

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P752] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

A snake having been killed will not die until sundown

Submitter comment:

Informant was skeptical as to this belief

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; POUGHKEEPSIE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; Kill ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUPERSTITION ; Time of day

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition: Animals

If you kill a black snake and throw him in a tree, it will rain until you take him down.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P435, P447] crossed out. Replaced wtih current classification.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; Kill ; Rain ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION ; Tree ; WEATHER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

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Belief: Animal

Snake won't die until after sundown.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; Night ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

The Hoop Snake:

It is believed that a certain snake in the Southwest, the hoop snake, can travel by rgabbing its tail in its mouth and rolling like a hoop.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Collector last name possibilities: Ston, Stan, Star, Stor, Stair, Stain, Stoin, Stoir.

Where learned: UNKNOWN

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; Hoop ; REGIONAL ; Serpent ; Snake ; Southwest ; SUPERSTITION ; TRAVEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

Snake Legend:

If you kill a snake you have to do it late in the day, because otherwise the snake would suffer until sunset.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B440] crossed out. Replaced wtih current classification.

Where learned: HOME ; MINNESOTA ; SAINT PAUL

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; DEATH ; Kill ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition: Animals

Reunion of Snakes Belief:

If you cut a snake in two it will come back together after sundown.

Submitter comment:

Original Title was; Reunion of Snakes Bodily... The word bodily was crossed out and replaced with Belief.

The letter B is crossed out in the upper left hand corner. Possibly intended to be a BN.

Collector's phone number is listed at bottom right of card: XXX-5459

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRL

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition: Animals

Resurrection of a Snake Belief:

If you kill a snake it will come back to life after sundown

Submitter comment:

The letter B is crossed out in the upper left hand corner of the submission card. Possibly intended as a BN

Collector's phone number is listed on the bottom right of submission card: XXX-5459

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; Resurrection ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

How Snakes Eat Eggs:

The snake, which has no teeth with which to chew, will swallow an egg whole, climb a tree, and then fall out of it to break the egg.

Submitter comment:

Informant was told this by the family's cleaning woman who firmly believed it to be true.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): Consume ; Egg ; FOOD ; Hunt ; Prey ; Serpent ; Snake ; Tree

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition: Animals

If you have a snake in a can with you while a magician  is doing his tricks, none of his tricks will work since the snake breaks the magician's spell.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; CAN ; Expose ; MAGIC ; Magician ; Serpent ; Snake ; Tricks

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Superstition: Animals

There is a legendary snake with a crown on its head and the crown had bells on it. The snake has a beard like a nanny goat. It is a huge and fearsome snake. It is said to come out once a year on a holy day and few have seen it.

Submitter comment:

My father's dad claims to have seen it. He saw the ground shaking all around a house and he saw the head of this snake come out of the ground. He claims that 10 to 15 feet of ground was shaking.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Crown ; Fearful ; Holy ; Legend ; MYTH ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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Superstition: Animals

La Cicilia (Snake Belief):

This is a little short snake (type of viper) which is blind and hisses. It comes out once a year on the feast of the Madonna degli Angeli. On this feastday no child is left alone for the people believe that these vipers seek babies and small children. The vipers are believed to have the spirit of the devil within them and seek little children's souls.

Submitter comment:

My mother really believes this story and claims to have seen them.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Written on the right hand side of the card: Date? Unknown.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Babies ; CHILDREN ; Feast ; FESTIVAL ; holiday ; Holy Day ; Prey ; Serpent ; Snake ; Soul ; Viper

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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Belief: Animal

Snake:

When a snake wishes to hurry down a hill, he grabs his tail in his mouth, and, forming a circle, rolls down.

Submitter comment:

The words Rapid Transit and Item Card are written in the top left and right hand corners (respectively) of the card. They are all crossed out.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [M247] crossed out. Reoplaced with Current Classification

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION ; Tail ; TRAVEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition: Animals

There is said to exist an animal which is snake-like in form and which crawls up a cows leg and drinks all her milk. This it has its name the milk-snake.

Submitter comment:

A Sly Poacher
and Item Card are written in the top left hand and right hand corners of the card, respectively. A Sly Poacher is crossed out.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P440] has been crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Cow ; Drink: consumption ; FOOD ; Milk ; PUN ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

A hoop snake puts its tail in its mouth and rolls; Anything hit by it will die.

Submitter comment:

Perswon remembers as a child being afraid of this snake and always running in a zig-zag path to avoid being struck by it.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: CLASS

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; MYTH ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Belief: Animal

A horned snake has a deadly horn in its tail, anything struck by that will die, even if its a tree.

Submitter comment:

Person can remember being deathly afraid of this kind of snake as a child.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MARYGROVE COLLEGE

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; Deadly ; Horn ; Serpent ; Snake ; Tail ; Weapon

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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