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CHILDREN'S VERSE

I HAD A WOODEN WHISTLE,
AND IT WOULDN'T WHISTLE.
I GOT A STEEL WHISTLE,
AND IT STILL WOULDN'T WHISTLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): ONOMATOPOEIA ; PUN=WOULDN'T WOODEN

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

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RIDDLE

Q: FIVE MAN CARRYING A SINGLE TIMBER.
A: A SPOON.

Submitter comment: THE FIVE MEN ARE THE FIVE FINGERS.
TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NATURAL PHENOMENA (Q) WOOD ; PERSONS (Q) ; UTENSILS (A)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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I SLEEP LIKE A LOG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METAPHOR, SLEEP, OBSERVATION

James Callow Keyword(s): SIMILE ; WOOD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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KNOCK ON WOOD

YOU SAY SOMETHING THEN KNOCK 3 TIMES SO THAT NO BAD LUCK
WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; SOCIAL RELATIONS ; SUPERNATURAL: KNOCKING ON WOOD

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.2
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-31-1968

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BELIEF

IN UKRAINE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF A PERSON SPEAKS OF HIS OWN GOOD
FORTUNE, HE SHOULD AFTERWARDS KNOCK THREE TIMES ON SOME RAW,
UNFINISHED WOOD SO HIS LUCK WON'T CHANGE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT COLLECTED INFORMATION PASSED ON BY GRANDPARENTS IN UKRAINE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; SUPERNATURAL: KNOCKING ON WOOD ; UKRAINIAN BELIEF

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-01-1967

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BELIEF

MANY SPANISH PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT AFTER SEEING A PRIEST CLOTHED IN
BLACK, THEY SHOULD TOUCH SOMETHING MADE OF WOOD TO AVOID BAD LUCK.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; SPANISH BELIEF ; SUPERNATURAL: TOUCHING WOOD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22
SPEECH -- Gesture
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 02-17-1970

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SPUNK JANET IS A WOMEN IN SCOTLAND WHO IS KNOWN TO
HAVE A TRADE OF MANUFACTURING SPUNKS AND TELLING
FORTUNES. JANET, THEY SAY, HAS DEALINGS WITH THE
POWERS OF DARKNESS, AND IN HER MAGIC CHAMBER SHE
GETS GLIMPSES INTO THE FUTURE. MOST OF HER CUSTOMERS
WERE FROM WOMEN WHO WANTED LOVE CURES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; SCOTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): PUNK, TOUCHWOOD, OR OTHER TINDER. ; SPUNK=SCOTTISH GAELIC DERIVATION, SPONG--TINDER,

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 01-28-1971

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Legend

CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED WAS SUPPOSEDLY
OF DOGWOOD. THUS THE DOGWOOD FLOWER IS SHAPED LIKE A
CRUCIFIX AS A REMINDER OF THE CRUCIFIXTION. THE TEAR
DROP IN THE CENTER OF THE FLOWER REPRESENTS A TEAR
WHICH IS SHED FOR THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

ORIGIN: UNKNOWN

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 2011-02-22 by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; CURSE ; Cursed ; DEATH ; Dogwood ; FLOWER ; Legend ; RELIGION ; Story ; Tale ; Tear ; Tree

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant

Date learned: 07-30-1964

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GHOST STORY

ON A STREET CALLED TANGLEWOOD ON BELLE ISLE IN DETROIT
{MICHIGAN}, TEENAGERS USUALLY WENT AT NIGHT TO HAVE
DRINKING PARTIES. THEY SAID THEY ALWAYS SAW A GHOST
DRIVING A WHITE OLDSMOBILE. ONE NIGHT A TEENAGE GIRL
WAS DRIVING ALONE--OUT TO MEET HER FRIENDS ON TANGLEWOOD.
AS SHE WAS DRIVING SHE SAW THIS OLDSMOBILE WITH A GHOST
WHITE DRIVER AND SHE GOT SO SCARED SHE CRASHED INTO A
TREE AND GOT KILLED. NOW THE KIDS SAW THIS AND THEY
SAY THAT IF YOU GO THERE AT NIGHT AND TURN YOUR HEAD-
LIGHTS ON INTO THE WOOD YOU CAN SEE THE YOUNG GIRL
WANDERING AROUND. THEY ALSO SAY THAT HER MOTHER WENT
CRAZY AND ALSO WANDERS AROUND IN THE WOODS AT NIGHT
DRESSED IN WHITE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): TANGLEWOOD, BELLE ISLE, DETROIT, OLDSMOBILE, HEADLIGHTS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 04-05-1972

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Legend

CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED WAS SUPPOSEDLY
OF DOGWOOD. THUS THE DOGWOOD FLOWER IS SHAPED LIKE A
CRUCIFIX AS A REMINDER OF THE CRUCIFIXTION. THE TEAR
DROP IN THE CENTER OF THE FLOWER REPRESENTS A TEAR
WHICH IS SHED FOR THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

ORIGIN: UNKNOWN

Data entry tech comment:

Updated 02-22-2011 by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; CRUCIFIXION ; CURSE ; DEATH ; Dogwood ; FLOWER ; Legend ; RELIGION ; Story ; Tale ; Tear ; Tree

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant

Date learned: 07-30-1964

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PIESTUPYS -- A LITHUANIAN FOREST

WHILE MY FATHER WAS A LITTLE BOY, HE HEARD VARIOUS TALES
TOLD ABOUT THIS FOREST. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAUNTED;
FOR IN THERE, THE DUKE OF LITHUANIA (VYTAUTAS)
PUNISHED THE ENEMY OF LITHUANIA. IT IS TOLD THAT THE
GHOSTS OF THOSE KILLED BY HIM OR ANY OF THE SOULS THAT
AREN'T AT PEACE (SUCH AS SUICIDES, MURDERS, THOSE
MANGLED TO DEATH BY THE WOLVES AND THE WILD MAD DOGS)
HAUNT THIS FOREST AND TRY TO REVENGE THEIR DEATHS BY
SCARING THE PASSERSBY TO DEATH.
MY FATHER SPEAKING: {COLLECTOR'S FATHER} 1). ONE OF THE
TALES TOLD IS THAT FIERY PILLARS ROSE UP. THEY WALKED
DOWN A WAYS ON THE SHORE OF SVENTOJI (A RIVER IN
LITHUANIA) AND DISAPPEARED. ONE OF THE OLDER MEN IN
OUR VILLAGE SAID THAT IS THE ANCIENT GOLD AND
SILVER. AND WHERE THOSE POLES, PILLARS, RISE UP OR
DISAPPEAR, THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS SUPPOSED TO BE
BURIED.
ME: DO YOU THINK THIS IS TRUE?
FATHER: NO, IT COUL'VE BEEN ANYTHING; REFLECTIONS
OF SOME SORT OR EVEN THE RUSSIAN SPIES WITH THEIR
TORCHES. IT COULD'VE BEEN A NUMBER OF THINGS.
ME: ARE MOST OF THE STORIES REVOLVE ABOUT THINGS?
NOT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS?
FATHER: OH, THEY SAY THAT THERE ARE MANY STRANGE
THINGS HAPPENING IN THAT FOREST. FOR ONE, THERE WAS THE
TIME...
2) ONE OF THE MEN IN THE TOWN WENT TO THE MARKET TO SELL
HIS GOODS. AFTER BEING DELAYED IN TOWN, HE HAD TO COME
HOME LATE AT NIGHT AND TO CROSS THAT FOREST. MOREOVER,
THE MOON WAS OUT. HE WAS RIGHT BY WHERE THE BRIDGE
WAS SAINT JOHN'S CROSS...AND HE SEES: BY SAINT JOHN'S
CROSS, THERE WERE DANCING YOUNG GIRLS DRESSED IN WHITE
AND SEEMED AS IF THEY WERE FLOATING ON AIR. BUT THEN
HE LOOKED TO THE OTHER SIDE AND HE SAW A NAKED MAN
ROLLING AND LAUGHING IN THE SNOW. HE (THE FARMER)
SAID THAT EVERY HAIR ON HIS HEAD STOOD ON END AND SPED
HOME LIKE HE NEVER HAD BEFORE! HE WONDERED FOR A LONG
TIME AFTER THAT HOW HE MANAGED TO "ESCAPE" ALIVE THAT
NIGHT.
ME: DID YOU BELIEVE HIM?
FATHER: ALL US YOUNGER KIDS DID, WE WERE TOO YOUNG.
OF COURSE, IT COULD'VE BEEN HIS IMAGINATION.
ME: DID YOU HEAR ANY OTHER STORIES ABOUT PIESTUPYS?
FATHER: YES, BUT VERY VERY SHORT ONES.
FOR EXAMPLE, SOMEONE SAID THAT THEY SAW AND HEARD A
BLACK PONY RUNNING ALONG THE SLOPES OF THE FOREST.
OR SOMETIMES OTHERS SAY THAT THEY'VE SEEN A GRAY OLD
GOAT BLEETING {BLEATING} UNDER A TREE.
ME: BUT WHAT IS IT MAINLY THAT SCARED THE PEOPLE
SO MUCH?
FATHER: WELL, THERE IN THE FOREST, THREE THIEVES HUNG
THEMSELVES AND THEY'RE BURIED UNDER SOME PINE TREES
SIDE BY SIDE. AND THE PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT THEY
STARTED ARGUING WHO ROBBED MORE PEOPLE AND WHO STOLE
THE MOST RICHES, AND AFTER A WHILE, THEY HAD RISEN ALL
THE OTHER DEAD AND TAKEN SIDES. BUT IT WAS REALLY OF
THOSE THREE THIEVES THAT EVERYONE WAS AFRAID OF.
ME: WERE YOU EVER IN THAT FOREST AND HAVE SOMETHING
HAPPEN TO YOU?
FATHER: YES, RIGHT BEFORE EASTER, MY YOUNGER SISTER
AND I HAD TO GET UP IN THE DARK TO GO TO RECOLLECTIONS.
AND FROM OUR VILLAGE TO THE TOWN AND CHURCH WAS TO GO
THROUGH THE FOREST. SO WE SET OUT...STILL DARK. I
HAD NEVER REALLY THOUGHT MUCH OF THOSE STORIES I HAD
HEARD, BUT NOW THEY ALL CAME BACK VIVIDLY. SO HALF
WAY THERE, I PICKED OUT LONG STRONG PIECES OF WOOD FOR
MY SISTER AND I TO PROTECT OURSELVES--MAINLY FROM THE
DOGS.
WE HAD PASSED HALF OF THE FOREST PEACEFULLY, BUT SUDDENLY
UP AHEAD, WE SAW A THING COMING--IT HAD A HUMAN SHAPE
AND WALKED LIKE A HUMAN. WE BOTH THOUGHT IT WAS ONE OF
THE DEAD, SO WE BOTH SAT DOWN HUGGING EACH OTHER, HOPING
THAT THE THING WOULD PASS. SUDDENLY, I HEARD THE THING
REAL CLOSE BY AND SHUT MY EYES. BUT THEN IT GAVE US THE
LITHUANIAN GREETING: "MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU." AND
MY SISTER ANSWERED! IT TURNED OUT TO BE A MIDDLE-AGED
WOMAN DRESSED IN A WHITE FUR COAT! SHE ASKED US IF WE
WERE GOING TO CHURCH AND THEN JUST WENT ON HER WAY.
ME: DIDN'T YOU THINK IT COULD'VE BEEN A SPIRIT?
FATHER: I WAS LITTLE THEN, BUT I KNEW A REAL PERSON
WHEN I SAW ONE! AFTER THAT, I WALKED ON AS BRAVELY
AS EVER AND WAS NEVER SCARED TO GO IN THERE AGAIN!
ME: WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLE? DID YOU TELL THEM
WHAT HAPPENED?
FATHER: OH, SURE! BUT THEY SAID THAT THEY DON'T
USUALLY PICK ON LITTLE KIDS.
ME: WERE THERE ANY OTHER INCIDENTS ABOUT THAT FOREST?
FATHER: OH, SURE! I THINK SO-CALLED HAPPENINGS WERE
REPORTED ALL THE TIME UP TO THE TAKEOVER IN 1941. BUT
I DOUBT IT IF MANY OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVED THE STORIES
UP TILL THEN!
ME: DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE FOREST NOW?
FATHER: THE LAST I HEARD WAS THAT HALF OF IT IS
DESTROYED. BY BOMBINGS AND SHELLING AND THE RUSSIANS
DID CUT DOWN MANY, MANY TREES FOR THEIR OWN USE.

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD ; LITHUANIA ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): TROUBLED SPIRITS ANIMALS WOODS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formation

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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GHOST STORY

ON A STREET CALLED TANGLEWOOD ON BELLE ISLE IN DETROIT
{MICHIGAN}, TEENAGERS USUALLY WENT AT NIGHT TO HAVE
DRINKING PARTIES. THEY SAID THEY ALWAYS SAW A GHOST
DRIVING A WHITE OLDSMOBILE. ONE NIGHT A TEENAGE GIRL
WAS DRIVING ALONE--OUT TO MEET HER FRIENDS ON TANGLEWOOD.
AS SHE WAS DRIVING SHE SAW THIS OLDSMOBILE WITH A GHOST
WHITE DRIVER AND SHE GOT SO SCARED SHE CRASHED INTO A
TREE AND GOT KILLED. NOW THE KIDS SAW THIS AND THEY
SAY THAT IF YOU GO THERE AT NIGHT AND TURN YOUR HEAD-
LIGHTS ON INTO THE WOOD YOU CAN SEE THE YOUNG GIRL
WANDERING AROUND. THEY ALSO SAY THAT HER MOTHER WENT
CRAZY AND ALSO WANDERS AROUND IN THE WOODS AT NIGHT
DRESSED IN WHITE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): TANGLEWOOD, BELLE ISLE, DETROIT, OLDSMOBILE, HEADLIGHTS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 04-05-1972

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RIDDLE

WHAT ANIMAL HAS EYES THAT CANNOT SEE, LEGS THAT CANNOT
MOVE, BUT CAN JUMP AS HIGH AS THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING?
-- A WOODEN HORSE (THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING CAN'T JUMP)

Where learned: HOME ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): WOOD INANIMATE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-29-1967

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Jewish

Descriptions of a Jewish Christmas Card: on the front it has a tree, and strung from the tree, instead of the usually bulbs [sic], it has 32 colored Matzo Balls, and on the top, instead of the star of Bethlehem, it has a Jewish star, not the star adavin [sic], but a picture of Sammy Davis Jr. or Liz Taylor, you can take your pick.

Submitter comment:

Sammy Davis Jr. and Liz Taylor are Jewish movie stars.

Data entry tech comment:

I believe that adavin is supposed to be "of David."

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; OAK PARK

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Decoration ; Distasteful ; ETHNIC ; Hollywood ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKES ; Offensive ; Stereotype ; Tree

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery

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Custom: Animal

Hunter's and Woodsman's Belief:

Although there is an open season on them all year a Good Sportsmen or Hunter will never shoot a porcupine. This is because if a person was ever lost in the woods without any food or a gun a porcupine can be easily killed with a stick or a club and the meat is very nutritious.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

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

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; Club ; FOOD ; Gun ; Hunt ; LOST ; Porcupine ; Survival ; Woods

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Proverb

Don't take any wooden nickels

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The addition of BN V300 in the upper left hand corner.

Located in pile marked Duplicates and Other Rejects.

Keyword(s): COIN ; Fake ; MONEY ; Nickel ; Replica ; WOOD ; Wooden

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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IF YOU BRAG, TO BREAK THE BAD SPELL, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY
KNOCK ON WOOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BRAG ; BRAG ; Knock On Wood ; Spell ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 06-25-1973

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MOVIE STAR LEGEND

THIS IS A LEGEND ABOUT MOVIE STARS.
WHEN A FAMOUS MOVIE STAR DIES, TWO MORE WILL DIE IN A SHORT
WHILE. A MOVIE STAR DOESN'T DIE ALONE, BUT ALWAYS DIES IN THREE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEATH ; Hollywood ; MOVIE STAR ; THREE ; Triple

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Secular hero

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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DOGWOOD BELIEF

THE RED MARKS ON EACH OF THE FOUR PETALS OF THE DOGWOOD FLOWER
ARE CALLED BLOODSPOTS BECAUSE THEY REPRESENT THE PASSION MARKS
OF CHRIST.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): Christ ; Dogwood ; FLOWER ; Passion ; Passion of the Christ ; RELIGION ; Represent ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-12-1969

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TREE BELIEF

THERE IS A CERTAIN KIND OF TREE, I DO NOT REMEMBER THE NAME,
THAT IS CALLED THE STICKER TREE BECAUSE IT HAS HUGE THORNS
AND IS THE SHAPE OF A CROSS, BECAUSE IT IS THE WOOD
OF WHICH THE CROSS OF CHRIST WAS MADE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): Botany ; Christ ; Cross ; Pricker ; Sticker ; SYMBOLISM ; Thorns ; Tree ; WOOD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Explanation of a name

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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