WARTS - How to Cure
"Say -- what is dead cats good for, Huck?"
"Good for? Cure warts with."
"No! Is that so? I know something that's better."
"I bet you don't. What is it?"
"Why, spunk-water. . . You got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say:
'Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
and then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody. Because if you speak the charm's busted. . .Sometimes I take 'em off with a bean."
"Yes, bean's good. I've done that."
"Have you? What's your way?"
"You take and split the bean, and cut the wart so as to get some blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and take and dig a hole and bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of the moon, and then you burn up the rest of the bean. You see that piece that's got the blood on it will keep drawing and drawing, trying to fetch the other piece to it, and so that helps the blood to draw the wart, and pretty soon off she comes."
"Yes, that's it, Huck -- that's it; though when you're burying it if you say 'Down bean; off wart; come no more to bother me!' it's better. That's the way Joe Harper does, and he's been nearly to Coonville and most everywheres. But say -- how do you cure 'em with dead cats?"
"Why, you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about midnight
when somebody that was wicked has been buried; and when it's midnight
a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see 'em, you can
only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear 'em talk; and when they're
taking that feller away, you heave your cat after 'em and say, 'Devil
follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with ye!'
That'll fetch any wart."
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