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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MR. PRINGLE HAS A FISHING CAMP WHERE WE GO ON OCCASIONS TO
"GET AWAY FROM IT ALL." ONE DAY WE GOT TO TALKING ABOUT
BUILDING A CABIN ON OUR OWN LAKE ABOUT THREE MILES AWAY.
ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS IS LOCATING WATER NEAR WHERE WE WANT
THE CABIN. "DON'T WORRY," SAYS JACK THORNTON, AN OLD TIME
RESIDENT, "WHEN THE TIME COMES, I'LL FIND YOU ALL THE
WATER YOU WANT." IT TURNED OUT THAT HE WAS A "WATER WITCH."
"AND SO MAY YOU BE," HE SAYS. HE WENT AND CUT A BRANCH FROM AN
APPLE TREE (IT COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE BEEN WILLOW, HE TOLD
US). HE WALKED AROUND WITH THAT FORKED BRANCH, AND SURE
ENOUGH, IT TURNED DOWN. WHEN I TRIED IT, NOTHING HAPPENED,
SO HE WALKED BEHIND ME, WITH HIS HANDS COVERING MINE.
PRETTY SOON, THAT OLD BRANCH STARTED STRAINING AND I COULDN'T
KEEP IT FROM TURNING. I NEVER DID GET VERY GOOD AT IT
MYSELF, BUT MY HUSBAND COULD REALLY MAKE IT TWIST. THE
OLD MAN SAYS HE NOT ONLY CAN FIND THE LOCATION OF WATER, BUT
CAN ESTIMATE VERY CLOSELY HOW FAR DOWN YOU HAVE TO GO TO
GET IT.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; ARDEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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FOLK BELIEF

IF A WOMAN CAN SET A GOOD FIRE, SHE'LL MAKE A GOOD WIFE.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; ARDEN

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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