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Old-time Texas Folk Sayings and Wisdom: From Love to Water Witching

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Texas has a rich and varied folklore. From ghost stories to tales of lost treasure, from legendary critters to larger than life heroes, the Lone Star State is a wealth of mythology. One of the richest veins of that lore can be found in the regional sayings and superstitions (or is it old-time wisdom?) of yesteryear. For a great collection of this folklore, we highly recommend Black Cats, Hoot Owls, & Water Witches by Kenneth W. Davis and Everett Gillis. Check out a few of our favorites down below!

Texas weather folklore

Old-time Texas Folk Sayings and Wisdom: From Love to Water Witching

Photo: Pixabay.com

According to one west Texan consulted in the book by Davis and Gillis, when you see flies swarming on your window screens, you can be certain that a rain is coming soon. A resident of San Antonio advised that if the wind blows hard out of the east continuously for three days, “all the devils in hell can’t keep it from raining.”

A Lubbock man offered up his own little pearl of wisdom, saying that if you see rain and sunshine simultaneously, it means that “the devil is beating his wife” and it’s sure to rain again tomorrow at the same time of day. Another Lubbock resident noted that mesquite blooming in the spring is a surefire indication there won’t be any more killing frosts.

Water witching or dowsing

Old-time Texas Folk Sayings and Wisdom: From Love to Water Witching
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve never seen anyone “witch” in order to locate a prime spot to dig a water well, it goes like this: the water witch takes a Y-shaped stick or rod and holds it out in front of him. He goes walking across the general area where the well is to be dug. When he feels some mysterious force pulling the long end of the stick toward the ground, he knows that he’s found the perfect spot to dig for water.

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