jump to navigation
  • Did You Hear the One About the Ring… July 16, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern , trackback

    Curious about ring legends? This blogger recently went through the international folklore indexes in search of rings so you don’t have to: you can waste a lot of time there… Yes, he found the boring old chestnuts: ring found in fish; ring cut from corpse etc. etc. But there are also some marvelously bizarre and exotic legends. Here are the ten favourites, and competition was fierce.

    Ring as chastity index. H433.1 [changes colour according to faithfulness!]

    Animals recover lost wishing ring. Grateful cat, dog, and snake compel mouse to steal it from thief. B548.1

    Lover keeps body of dead mistress (wife) intact by means of magic ring. T85.4.1

    Magic ring causes continued sneezing. D1372.1. [‘what fresh hell is this’]

    Magic ring compels would-be fugitive to keep calling out, ‘Here I am’. D1612.2.1 [science-fiction potential?]

    Magic ring furnishes livestock. D1477.2 [It is the image I love: I see the ring excreting sheep]

    Magic ring makes seaweeds grow. D1487.1 [Breton…]

    Recognition by ring springing off finger. H94.7

    Skillful marksman shoots spear through nose-ring. F661.3.1 [Indian]

    Speaking Ring. D1610.8 [Alan Moore has an annoying speaking sword in one of this comics: this ring has narrative potential.]

    Note the numbers are from the Stith-Thompson index (and annexes Baughman etc).

    Any other ring stories floating around, particularly in contemporary legend: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    Quite a few emails here, but Floodmouse’s comment needs to be immortalised, 30 jul 2017: Just wait for the Google watch to get a bit smaller (any technology sufficiently advanced appears to be magic, etc.)

    It would be interesting, Beach replies, to try and anticipate urban legends. More on this to come.