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Column — Dr. Kemp Mabry

Distinguishing fact from fiction

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    The man talking to me was a native of Treutlen County (Soperton) but a longtime resident of Bulloch County. He is now deceased so I will let his statements stand, either as fact or folklore.
    “When you plant corn during the increase of the moon, it grows tall, with a round stalk and joints far apart and it has only one or two ears that point toward the moon.
    “When you plant it in the decrease of the moon, the stalk is flat and several ears grow out waist high and they hang over, pointing at the ground.
    “And if you plant tomatoes during the increase of the moon, the vines will grow long. But if you plant them in the decrease of the moon, the tomatoes will grow big.
    “And if you cut yourself shaving during the increase of the moon it will be harder to heal than if you cut yourself during the decrease of the moon.”
    I do not want to cut myself to learn whether or not that last statement is fact or folklore!
    One time when we were together, he was talking and I was listening again.
    “Do you hear that rain frog out there? He’s about as big as your thumb and he climbs around over bushes and vines. He’s saying ‘Rain! Rain! Rain!’ It will rain within 12 to 24 hours when the rain frog calls like that.”
    That same day, in the afternoon, there was a downpour. This time the rain frog was on the window screen calling again. The man said it meant more rain.
    The next afternoon we sat watching the rain as it came down by Great buckets full and the flat countryside held the water on top of the ground like a natural lake. All the windows were closed now against the driving torrents of rain.
    There was nothing to do but sit and listen.
    “Do you know about the cat’s eye?” I did not. “When the pupil of the cat’s eye is round, that means there is high tide. When his eye is a narrow vertical slit, it is low tide.
    “I was going fishing down at Yellow Bluff. We wanted to know what time to leave so we could be there at the best time for fishing. I told the others we’d just look at the cat’s eye.
    “They didn’t believe me, so I told them to call Savannah and ask the man at the newspaper about the tide. It didn’t cost much for the call and the man at the paper confirmed what I had told them,” the man concluded.
    Fact or folklore?
    The Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office has notified us of the Biannual Fort Stewart Cemetery/Historical Site visit scheduled for Nov. 1, 2006. The bus tour will include a trip to Little Creek, Corinth, Green Bay (Lunch), Bragg and Dreggers cemeteries.
    For details contact Ms. Gail Aldridege at (912) 767-5687. This could be an interesting tour for your club or individuals. Contact the Pubic Affairs Office at number above no later than Oct. 27, 2006.
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