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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ONE WHITE FOOT, BUY IT.
TWO WHITE FEET, TRY IT.
THREE WHITE FEET, SEE HOW IT GOES,
FOUR WHITE FEET, AND WHITE NOSE,
CUT OFF ITS FEET AND THROW IT TO THE CROWS.

Submitter comment: THIS APPLIES TO BUYING A HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ANIMAL NUMBERS ; HUMOR EUPHEMISM SYMBOL OVERSTATEMENT ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION, SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST QUINTET ; INTERACTION INITIAL INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: DACTYL RHYME: FEMININE TRIPLE ; RHYME AABBB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN FROM THE CITY,
WHO MET WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A KITTY.
HE GAVE IT A PAT
AND SAID, "NICE LITTLE CAT!"
THEY BURIED HIS CLOTHES OUT OF PITY.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): FUNCTION AND GENRE: LIMERICK ; HUMOR ; NUTSHELL NARRATIVE ANTICLIMAX QUINTAIN ; RHYME: AABBA, FEMININE ; SKUNK ; SOUND: DACTYLIC TETRAMETER ; SUBJECT: ACCIDENTS, ANIMALS ; UNDERSTATEMENT IRONY

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

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER,
AND SO DO PIGS AND SWINE;
RATS AND MICE DO HAVE THEIR CHOICE,
AND SO DO I HAVE MINE.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; OAKVILLE

Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM PROVERBIAL RETORT ANIMALS ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONOLOGUE QUATRAIN ; RHYME: ABCB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AUTOGRAPH

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE.
I HAVE A BULLDOG THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU.

Submitter comment: FROM AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN DETROIT, 1960.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

WHEN A FEATHER WEIGHS A POUND,/ WHEN A FOX SHALL CHOOSE A HOUND,/
WHEN THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END,/ THEN WILL I CEASE TO BE
YOUR FRIEND?

Where learned: LIBRARY

Keyword(s): RHETORICAL QUESTION ; RHYME ANIMAL ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Friendship

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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AUTOGRAPH (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

ONLY MONKEYS LOOK UPSIDE DOWN}

Submitter comment: WRITTEN UPSIDE DOWN ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

Where learned: AUTOGRAPH BOOK

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; CATCH INSULT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Reading or writing backwards, upside down

Date learned: 03-01-1970

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK RHYME (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

DOESN'T IT GET YOUR NANNY,

DOESN'T IT GET YOUR GOAT,

WHEN YOU'RE IN THE BATHTUB,

AND CAN'T FIND THE SOAP.

Submitter comment:

FROM INFORMANT'S JUNIOR HIGH AUTUGRAPH BOOK, 1929-1933

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; GLENSHAW

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BATHTUB VERSE ; IMPERFECT RHYME ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

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A BELIEF

IF A DRAGONFLY LANDS ON YOUR EAR, IT WILL SEW IT UP.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS TALE AS A CHILD, AND AT THE TIME HE THOUGHT
THAT IT WAS PROBABLY TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT ; BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 02-15-1972

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WEATHER BELIEF

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT ONE CAN PREDICT THE SEVERITY OF THE WINTER
BY OBSERVING THE COLORATION OF THE WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLAR. IF THEY
ARE MOSTLY BLACK IN COLOR, THE WINTER WILL BE SEVERE, WHILE IF THEY
ARE MOSTLY BROWN IN COLOR, THE WINTER WILL BE LESS SEVERE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS THIS BELIEF MIGHT BE TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT ; BELIEF

Subject headings: 891 Animals, vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Animals (vertebrate and invertebrate)
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through P891.3

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IF A LADYBUG LANDS ON YOU SHE WILL BRING YOU GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL BEETLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SIGN OF GOOD LUCK

HAVING A LADYBUG LAND ON YOU IS A SIGN OF GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL BEETLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO KILL A CRICKET, ESPECIALLY ON SUNDAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.33

Date learned: 03-03-1970

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BELIEF OR PREDICTION

YOU CAN DETERMINE THE TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE BY COUNTING THE NUMBER
OF TIMES A CRICKET RUBS HIS FOOT IN A MINUTE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT ; WHICH RUBBING PRODUCES CHIRPING SOUND.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.3

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FISH (REPTILE)

IF YOU PICK UP A TOAD, AND IN DOING SO, TOUCHED ITS BACK, SAID
PERSON WOULD RECEIVE WARTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL AMPHIBIAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.35

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE DEAD MAN IN A CRAB

THERE IS A CERTAIN PART OF A CRAB NEAR THE END OF THE SHELL, WHICH
IS BELIEVED BY SOME TO BE A DEAD MAN. ANYONE WHO ATE THIS WOULD
IMMEDIATELY DIE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT AND HIS FRIENDS BELIEVED THIS ABSOLUTELY WHILE CHILDREN IN TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA IN THE 1930S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL CRUSTACEAN ; BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance P880.34

Date learned: 02-18-1970

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS BELIEVED IN EL SALVADOR THAT THE DEVIL TAKES THE FORM OF A
DOG OR A FOX AND WEARS A CAPE. HE LIVES IN OLD HOUSES, AND WARM
CHIMNEY CORNERS OR WHEREVER IT IS DARK. HE PESTERS PEOPLE, MOVES
THINGS, LOSES AND MISPLACES THINGS. HE IS INVISIBLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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THE UNSEEN CAT RIDDLE

Q: HOW WOULD YOU SEE A BLACK CAT IN A DARK ROOM WITH NO WINDOWS
AT MIDNIGHT?
A: YOU WOULD TURN ON THE LIGHT.

Submitter comment: ANTITHETICAL OPPOSITIONAL
TOLD TO INFORMANT BY HER 3RD GRADE TEACHER, MRS. CLAPPER.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (A) ; ANIMAL (Q) ; CATCH QUESTION

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-28-1968

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