Bookcover: Black Cats, Hoot Owls, and Water Witches: Beliefs, Superstitions, and Sayings from Texas

Black Cats, Hoot Owls, and Water Witches: Beliefs, Superstitions, and Sayings from Texas

Subject: Folklore

October, 1989




13 woodcuts.






About Davis and Gillis's Black Cats, Hoot Owls, and Water Witches

Of course, everyone worth his salt knows that a biting turtle won’t let go until it thunders, but did you know that more than thirteen blackbirds on a fence with their tails to the north is a sure sign of a coming blue norther? Or that you should eat every grain of rice in your bowl or you will have a spouse who has chicken pox marks? Think of the needless human suffering the world has endured simply because no one bothered to collect the combined wisdom of the folk and to make it available for quick reference!

Thanks to Kenneth W. Davis and Everett A. Gillis, those dark days are now at an end. Whether you need advice on the moon and stars; weather; water witching; planting and growing; worms, frogs, roosters, crickets and other critters; clothing; or love, marriage, home and family, it’s all here in this handy little compendium.

“Who can resist a book that tells us how to predict the unpredictable, cure the incurable, and control the uncontrollable?” —Concho River Review

[A] good book… for anyone interested in a good laugh or two from the Southwest.” —Western American Literature

“A quick and delightful read, the book leaves the reader begging for more lore and discourse on its origins, meanings and inferences. You’ll love it.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Texas is remarkably rich in country superstitions, beliefs, and sayings—and Davis and Gillis have performed a valuable folklore service in collecting many of them. Their book is enhanced by the wonderful woodblock illustrations of artist Teel Sale.” —East Texas Historical Association

Printed on demand.

About the Editor

KENNETH DAVIS is professor of English at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

More from Kenneth W. Davis

The late EVERETT GILLIS was professor emeritus and former chairman of the English Department at Texas Tech.

More from Everett Gillis