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New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. XI, No. 3, Autumn 1955

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XI, No. 3, Autumn 1955

ITALIAN TALES IN NEW YORK CITY
M. Jagendorf

I HAD trouble with my eyes, so I went to the Doctor. The Doctor had a nurse who has dark brown eyes and a complexion “of summer giggling through the rounded trees.” So we began talking and the talking resulted, as it always does, in folk stories.

Helen Rossi’s father, Joseph Rossi, who is now 74 years old, came from the old country,—from Salerno in Italy. There his parents told him stories which he now tells to his children to bring a little simple pleasure into their lives in this madhouse of progress. He hopes they will tell them to their children some day, and Miss Rossi promises to do so when she has them. These are some of the stories “Pop” told her.

The Hand of the Lord

When we went into the woods, we would look tor pine cones. When we found them, we would break the kernels of the cones to find the figure of a hand there. When we saw the hand, we knew it was the hand of the Lord. And it was the hand of the Lord! And I will tell you why it is there.

When the Lord Christ walked on the earth, one day He had to flee from enemies into the forest. He ran and He ran, but soon the soldiers were almost upon Him. So what do you think He did? He made Himself so small He could creep into a kernel of a pine cone and hide Himself in it.

So He hid Himself in the kernel of the pine cone, and the soldiers looked for Him all over and could not find Him. In the end they gave up and went back to the city....




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