Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/56

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48 Journal of American Folk-Lore.

A cure for lumbago is to lie down on the floor face downward, and have your wife tread on the afflicted part with her feet.

A Cure for a Sprain. — If you find a bone, take it and rub it on the sprain, and then throw it over your head, and don't look back at it.

Toothache Cares. — Give a child a bread crust, at which mice have gnawed, to chew, and it will never be subject to toothache. An- other sure preventive is, after washing yourself, to wipe the hands with the towel first before you wipe the face. I know an old woman who practises this method, and she says that she has not been trou- bled with toothache for the last twenty years.

The brain-teeth (hern-zahne) of a hog, if carried in the pocket, are also supposed to prevent toothache.

Wart Cures. — Go into a house, steal a dishcloth and bury it under a stone ; as the cloth rots, the wart will disappear.

Rub the warts with a piece of pork, and bury it under the eaves. Another cure is to take a potato, cut it in two, and rub one of the pieces on the wart ; then wrap it in a piece of paper, and place it on the sidewalk, or other place much frequented by the public, and who- ever finds and opens the package will get the wart. Another cure still is, if you have more than one wart on your hand, to get some person to count them and he will get them.


The Germans have also superstitions in connection with the moon, all of them, however, the same, or only slight variants of the current English superstitions, such as the proper time for sowing grain, kill- ing of hogs, etc.


If you lose one of your teeth, and a hog finds and swallows it, a hog-tooth will grow in its place.

Spitting on the stove is said to cause sore lips.

When one of a child's eyelashes falls out on its face, take the hair and put it on the child's bare breast, and it will receive a present.

It is a common practice among some Germans here to put old shoes among the cucumber vines to insure a good crop of cucum- bers. Certain times should also be selected for planting the seed. If planted in the sign Virgo, they are sure to bear false blossoms ; and if in Pisces, you will get a good crop.

When the stove becomes red-hot, you may expect cold weather.

The rocking of a cradle, while the child is not in it, is said to cause the child to get the colic.

If a cat washes her face, you will receive visitors.

As late as the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paulus Zac- chias, a famous physician, writes of the virulent poison of the hair of

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