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James Callow Folklore Archive

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BUTTERFLIES:

THE LORD HAD CLIPPED PIECES FROM EVERYTHING. THESE CLIPPINGS WERE
CALLED FLUTTER-BYS BY WHITE FOLKS. THESE FLUTTER-BYS GOT OVER TO OUR
PART OF THE WORLD AND WELL, YOU KNOW HOW US BLACK FOLKS ARE; WE
GOTTA' SAY THINGS OUR WAY OR DIE TRYING; SO WHEN WE LOOKED UP AND
SAW THESE THINGS COME FLOATING BY, WE HEARD WHITE FOLKS CALL 'EM
FLUTTER-BYS" AND WE FELL OUT LAUGHING. "FLUTTER-BYS! WHITE FOLKS PUT
THEIR TONGUES THROUGH ALL KINDS OF CHANGES TRYING TO TALK. FLUTTER-
BYS, NOW WHO COULD SAY THAT?" SO WE TURNED THAT THING AROUND AND
CALLED THEM BUTTERFLIES. THAT SOUNDED A WHOLE LOT BETTER; IT WAS
EASY ON THE TONGUE AND EASY ON THE EAR, AND THAT'S THE WAY THE WORDS
WERE 'SPOSED TO BE. BUTTERFLIES!

Submitter comment: THIS IS A VARIANT OF FLUTTER-BYS WHICH IS SEQENCE NUMBER 731772 - 2
IN MY COLLECTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale
BELIEF -- Legend
SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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