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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Your search for Thief returned 7 results.

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LOGGER'S LEGEND

A MAN NAMED DAVID WARD USED TO OWN A LOT OF LAND AND FORESTS
AROUND WATERS, MICH. HE WAS ABOUT THE RICHEST MAN IN THE AREA.
HE NOTICED THAT SOME OF HIS TREES WERE BEING CUT DOWN SO HE SET
OUT TO CATCH THE THIEF. HE HAD A PRETTY GOOD IDEA WHO IT WAS SO HE
DRESSED UP LIKE AN OLD BUM AND WENT TO THIS PERSON'S HOUSE
AND ASKED IF HE WOULD GIVE HIM A MEAL. THE MAN SAID YES, BUT HE'D
HAVE TO WORK FOR IT, AND HE TOLD WARD TO GO CUT DOWN SOME OF HIS OWN
TREES. (NOT KNOWING, OF COURSE, THAT IT WAS DAVE WARD HE WAS
TALKING TO.) WARD WENT AND CUT THE TREES DOWN AND BROUGHT THEM
BACK TO THE MAN. HE JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE MAN WAS
GOING TO KEEP THEM. (WARD MIGHT HAVE BEEN RICH BUT HE WAS ALWAYS
FAIR.) WELL, THE MAN PUT THE WOOD IN HIS OWN SHED AND OFFERED WARD
FOOD AND LODGING FOR THE NIGHT. THEN WARD TOLD HIM WHO HE WAS AND HE
MADE THAT MAN WORK FOR HIM FOR THE NEXT SEASON, CUTTING TREES, WITH
NO PAY, ONLY ENOUGH TO EAT AND A PLACE TO LIVE.

Submitter comment: HEARD AROUND GAYLORD, MICH. ABOUT 1930

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Gaylord

Keyword(s): THIEF PUNISHED BY MAN HE STOLE FROM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-00-1963

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IF SOMETHING IS STOLEN, AND THERE ARE MANY SUSPECTS, YOU CAN KNOW
THE REAL PERSON THAT STOLE THE ITEM BY DOING THIS SIMPLE TEST.
OPEN THE BIBLE TO JOB CHAPTER SEVENTEEN, PLACE A KEY IN THAT
SECTION, AND USE A ROPE TO TIE THE KEY AND THE BIBLE TOGETHER.
LET EACH OF THE SUSPECT SWEAR SAYING THUS, "IF I TAKE THE LOST ITEM
LET ME BE MENTALLY SICK IMMEDIATELY". IF THE PERSON WHO STOLE THE
ITEM SAYS THIS, HE WILL BECOME MENTALLY SICK WITH IMMEDIATE
EFFECT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LOOKED SERIOUS WHILE NARRATING THE ITEM.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

James Callow Keyword(s): DETECTION OF THIEF ; THEFT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-00-1967

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IF A CHILD'S FINGERNAILS ARE CUT BEFORE HE IS SIX
MONTHS OLD, HE WILL STEAL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 09-01-11

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE ; THEFT ; Thief

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails

Date learned: 10-23-1973

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Play on Words

Thrones:

IN darkest Africa one time, there were some wicked men who terrorized the natives of the various tribes by exploiting them for their valuables. In fact, these men would go to the chief's hut and steal his throne, because they were usually adorned with gold and diamonds and all sorts of other precious stones.

Well, the word got around to one particular chief that thesemen were coming to his village. Not wanting his throne stolen, he had it hidden up in the attic of his grass hut. When the wicked men arrived, they only found a plain wooden chair as a throne. Thinking that this was not a worthwhile village profitably, they decided to leave. All of a sudden, without warning, the ceiling gave out, and the chief's magnificent throne fell to the ground in front of everybody. discovering this prize, the men packed it up and left the king with no throne.

The moral of this story: People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

Submitter comment:

I heard this a few years ago, but I don't remember when. the informant has also slipped my mind. / I don't remember where or whom I heard this from.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [S570] crossed out/replaced with current classification

Written underneath the BN: [Shaggy Dog - Pun Type]

Where learned: UNKNOWN

Keyword(s): DETECTION OF THIEF ; Fable ; JOKE ; PUN ; SHAGGY DOG STORY ; Throne ; WORD PLAY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

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Proverb

It takes a thief to catch a thief.

Submitter comment:

From - Uncertain

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; Thief ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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BABY BELIEF

NEVER CUT A BABY'S FINGERNAILS BEFORE HE IS ONE YEAR OLD OR
HE WILL BE A THIEF.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): BABY ; FINGERNAILS ; Nail ; PREDICTION ; SUPERSTITION ; Thief ; Trim

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 10-28-1970

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SAVE A THIEF FROM HANGING, AND HE'LL CUT YOUR THROAT.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Thief

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-26-1967

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showing 7 items

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