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James Callow Folklore Archive

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FOLK TALE

THIS STORY TAKES PLACE IN RUSSIA. IT IS THE STORY OF A MAN WHO
PASSED AWAY AND IN HIS WILL HE REQUESTED THAT HIS SOLID GOLD
WATCH BE BURIED WITH HIM. HIS REQUEST WAS GRANTED AND HE WAS
THUS BURIED. THIS WAS A FARMING SECTION IN RUSSIA AND THE PEOPLE
WERE EXTREMELY POOR. SOMEHOW, A MEMBER OF THE PEASANTRY LEARNED
OF THE FACT THAT THE MAN WAS BURIED WITH A GOLD WATCH. HE DECIDED
TO ROB THE GRAVE. YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT IN RUSSIA THE MEN OF
THOSE TIMES WORE LONG COATS. SO IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, HE TOOK
HIS SHOVEL AND HAMMER, DUG OPEN THE GRAVE, AND PRIED OPEN THE
COFFIN. AFTER TAKING THE WATCH FROM THE DEAD MAN'S PERSON, HE
STARTED TO RE-NAIL THE COFFIN. UNWITTINGLY, HIS COAT CAUGHT
UNDER THE LIP OF THE COFFIN AS HE HAMMERED THE COFFIN LID SHUT.
WHEN TRYING TO ARISE, HE WAS FOUND UNABLE TO DO SO, AND BEING
OF A SUPERSTITIOUS NATURE, HE THOUGHT THE DEAD MAN WAS PULLING
HIM DOWN INTO THE GRAVE. THE NEXT MORNING THIS MAN WAS FOUND
LYING BESIDE THE COFFIN, DEAD. HIS HAIR WAS COMPLETELY WHITE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 03-15-1970

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