Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: The arrival of a telegram announcing a death leads to the demise of the rest of the family.
Example: [Brunvand, 1993]
In that long ago story, two children are playing at being butchers, imitating their father who slaughters pigs. One boy takes their make-believe recreation way too far and slits his younger brother's throat. Alerted by the commotion, the mother runs from the house, finds one son dead, and in her crazed state seizes the knife and stabs the other son. Upon returning to the house, she discovers the baby she left in the bath has drowned. Then the grief-stricken mother, who has lost three children in a matter of minutes — two of them through her own acts — hangs herself, and the father dies shortly thereafter of
In 1994, the Chinese newspaper Guangxi Daily reported a fantastic story reminiscent of a cross between the Bad News Bearers and the "Mother's Little Helper" legend: They wrote that a man from the Henan province was fined
Those tempted to be shocked by that story should remember that Chinese newspapers are not quite the bastions of veracity their western counterparts are assumed to be.
Barbara "impermanent press" Mikkelson
Last updated: 21 August 2002
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