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What They Say In New England
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FIND a daisy; ask it any question you please that can be answered by "Yes" or "No," and then, one at a time, pull off the petals. For the first say "Yes," for the second, "No," and so on. The word that falls to the last one is your answer.

Have you white marks on your nails? Put your hands together and say this rhyme while in succession you touch finger-tips, beginning with the thumbs:—

A friend,
A foe,
A gift,
A beau,
A journey to go.

Notice on which finger-nails the marks are, and you will thus gain some inkling of your fortune.

Some authorities, however, say that the number of white marks on the nails indicate the number of lies the possessor has told.

"Oh, what a mess of lies!" comments one child, who notes numerous marks on a mate's nails. If the unhappy possessor of the marks complains to her mother, she is probably told not to mind, as the white blotches are only spots where she has hit the nails in some way.


First form:

Gray eyes, greedy;
Blue eyes, beauty;
Black eyes, pig-a-pies,
Sure to tell lies.

Second form:

Black eyes, tell lies;
Blue eyes, pick pies;
Gray eyes, greedy gut,
Eat all the world up.

Third form:

Blue eyes, pick pies,
Turn around and tell lies;
Gray eyes, greedy gut,
Eat all the world up.

Children frequently tell fortunes on their buttons. A boy will find out what his station in life will be, and a girl the kind of person she is to marry, by telling them off, one button at a time, and saying this lingo over and over till the Iast one is reached:—

"Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief,
Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief."

To know what kind of clothes you are to wear, you say, "Silks, satins, calico, rags," over and over down to the last button.

To know what kind of a vehicle you are to ride in, you say, "Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart."

To know what kind of a creature will draw your vehicle, you say, "Horse, cow, pig, sheep."

To know what kind of a house you will live in, you say, "Big house, little house, pigpen, barn."

The list of possible residences sometimes runs in this form: "Palace, mansion, cottage, hut."

To know what kind of a wedding-ring you will wear, you say, "Gold, silver, diamond, brass."

Instead of buttons you can, in this fortune-telling, pull the petals off from a daisy, or the fronds one by one from a fern.

Children can tell the time of day by "dandelion clocks." Take a white-headed dandelion, blow it three times, and the number of seeds that still cling indicate the hour.

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is sorry and sad,
Thursday's child is merry and glad,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
And Saturday's child must work for a living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and merry and glad and gay.

A rather more vigorous version is the following:—

Born on a Monday, fair of face;
Born on a Tuesday, full of God's grace;
Born on a Wednesday, merry and glad;
Born on a Thursday, sour and sad;
Born on a Friday, godly given;
Born on a Saturday, work for a living;
Born on a Sunday, never shall want;
So there's the week and the end on't.

Some young people are fond of telling fortunes by naming an apple and counting the seeds. At times this is done at parties; but the place may be the back steps, or a seat on a convenient fence. A companion snaps the apple to be eaten with a forefinger, and, granting the eater is a girl, gives it the name of some boy. When the apple is eaten to the core, the apple-seeds are carefully counted with this incantation:—

One, I love,
Two, I love,
Three, I love, I say;
Four, I love with all my heart,
Five, I cast away.
Six, he loves,
Seven, she loves,
Eight, they both love,
Nine, he comes,
Ten, he tarries,
Eleven, he courts,
Twelve, he marries.

The sign which goes with the final seed is, as matter of course, the one which determines the character of the fortune.

Pick a dandelion top that has gone to seed. Say, "Does my mother want me?" and blow the white top with all your might. If all the seeds fly away, your mother wants you right off. If they do not, keep on blowing. The number of blows it takes to clear the dandelion head indicates in how many hours your mother wants you.

"There was Grandmother Collins, she used to tell fortins," said the old man I was interviewing. "I recollect about one girl that went to her. She said that girl 'd have three beaux, and that she'd marry the poorest one of the three. It all come out just as she'd said. The girl had three beaux, and she took and married the worst one of the lot. Oh, she got a miserable poor man for a husband. There'd be some nights she'd sleep out in the cornfield, she was so afraid of him.

"There was some gypsies used to come through here, and one of 'em was an Injun woman. She was married to one o' the men. She said she was full-blooded Injun. She was a very pretty lookin' woman, and she told fortins. You had to pay her a quarter. I give her a quarter once; and she looked into my hand, and said, 'You're goin' to be rich sometime,' and a lot of other stuffs gret long mess on it. She didn't know any more about fortins 'n I do, but she 'tended she did.

"There is people can tell, though, and tell it true. I was goin' down to Springfield, and I stopped at Cabotsville to see Jim Tinkham that I'd always known for a long time. We was walking down a street together when we come to a house where we see a fat woman settin' in the winder. Jim said she told fortins. He said, 'Come in, and get your fortin told, an' I'll pay the bill.'

"So we went in. Jim give the woman a quarter, and she took a little grayish stone, and begun to point out the spots on't here and there along with her needle. She told me that on my way down I stopped in a house, and asked a young lady for her company, 'And she give you the mitten,' she said.

"Well, that was just as it had happened to me. Then she told me about three long journeys, one of 'em way out West that I'd made. She told me everything I ever did, and she described out my farm better'n I could myself.

"I asked if I was ever goin' to get married agin. She looked over her stone and said, 'Here's lots of women I see. Here's lots on 'em. You c'n have 'em if you want 'em."'

If at any time you want a yes or no answer to some question, just get a friend to gather the corners of a handkerchief up so that his hand is closed over the ends, except a bit of the tips. Then you take hold of two, and when you straighten the handkerchief out if you have got it the long way the answer is "yes"; if the short way, "no."

Take an apple, and pare it round and round so that the skin will come off in one continuous strand. Swing the paring around your head three times, and then throw it over your shoulder. It will, when it falls, take the form of some letter of the alphabet, or it ought to. That letter will be the initial of your beau's last name. If the initial won't fit the last name of any person you consider attractive, those who practise this art will allow you to try to make it fit some one's first name. On account of the curliness of the paring, the rounded letters, and in particular S, occur oftenest. However, the letters are seldom so distinct but that an imaginative person can make something satisfactory to himself or herself out of the paring. Some say that it is important that the apple used in this divination should be a red one.

Pull a hair from your head, and give it to a friend. Next clasp your hands with your forefingers upright and touching tips. Then get your friend to draw the hair down between these two finger-tips. For the first time the hair goes through say "a," for the second time "b," and so on through the alphabet until the hair breaks. The letter it breaks on is the initial of the one you are to marry. You can make your fortune much as you choose in this; for you have only to press your fingers tightly when you come to the letter that suits you, and the hair will break on that letter.

Eat the blossoms of three innocents, and the next person of the opposite sex that you meet will be the one you are to marry.

Squeeze the yellow centre off from a daisy stem, throw it into the air, and catch what you can of it when it comes down. Now take the pieces you caught, and say a letter of the alphabet for each one, beginning with a, b, c. The letter that comes on the final piece is the initial of the last name of the person who will some day marry you.

If a girl cuts thick slices of bread, it is a sign she will be a good stepmother.

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