Boatright et al.'s
Madstones and Twisters
Madstones and Twisters is now available as a free e-book at the
UNT Digital Library and The Portal to Texas History.
The madstones that J. Frank Dobie writes about have their counterpart in
the bezoar stones of ancient India, and some of Howard C. Key’s twisters
dipped down into Texas last spring. There are still people who believe
that a madstone will take the poison out of a bite by a mad dog or a
rattlesnake, and the devastating and freakish tricks of tornadoes will
always make the front pages of the newspapers.
Some of the pieces deal with what happens to folk beliefs and practices
when a people exchange one way of life for another. The lore of weather
and of planting that used to be expressed by the almanacs has been
weakened, though many people still believe that root crops are to be
planted only when the moon is in the dark. Like almanacs, prairie dogs
have seen their day.
Mexican lore is well represented in this volume as is family lore.