USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘dog’
Legends
Narrative

“Humans Can Lick Too” Story

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. I asked them if they knew, “the scary story where a girl gets her hand licked,” or, “the hand lick dog story.”

The informant first heard this story around the age of 11 in a drama class during a “ghost stories session.”
“Okay, I’ll probably get some of the details wrong, but, um… There’s this woman who lives alone… Well not alone, she has a dog. And every time she goes to bed, she gets into bed and hangs her hand over the bed because the dog licks it and it gives her comfort and all that. Um… she does that, dog licks her hand and she goes to sleep. Um… I, I’m missing a lot of details, but it’s like, that regularly happens. Until one day, she goes to bed, and of course the dog’s there, it’s under her bed, licks her hand. But one day she wakes up, goes to the bathroom, her dog is, like, bloodied, beaten, torn up in the bathroom and on the mirror it says, ‘Humans can lick too’ [laughs nervously]. And that’s how I remember that one [laughs].”
This version includes the dog being dead in the bathroom, but does not specify that the dog is under the bed. It also does not specify the dripping noise that wakes up the protagonist that appears in many versions.

An analysis of several versions of this story, as well as some folkloric history, can be read here: https://www.thoughtco.com/humans-can-lick-too-3299487. Additionally, a video portrayal of the same story can be seen here at http://urbanlegendsonline.com/humans-can-lick-too/, in which the girl actively sees her hand being licked by an intruder, and does not see her missing (presumably dead) dog.

Legends
Narrative

“Humans Can Lick Too” Story

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. I asked them if they knew, “the scary story where a girl gets her hand licked,” or, “the hand lick dog story.”

The informant most likely first heard the story in summer camp at the age of 11.
“So, um… I think a girl was scared of monsters under her bed, so, um, her parents got a dog and the dog lived under her bed, and whenever she’d get scared, she’d put her hand under the bed and the dog would lick her hand and she’d feel safe. And then one day, she got scared and put her hand under the bed and something licked it, and then the dog ran into her room… I mean there’s probably more to it than that, but that’s… as I understand the plot of that story… The dog may also – there, there’s probably a version of it, if not immediately, where the dog is dead.”
This version of the story interestingly does not include the titular message of, “Humans (or People) can lick too.” In fact, it does not involve the dog dying. Insead, it simply presents the dread of the intruder currently licking her hand by having the dog run into the protagonist’s room. It does, however, specify that the dog generally licks her hand from under the bed. This version does not specify the dripping noise that wakes up the protagonist that appears in many versions.

An analysis of several versions of this story, as well as some folkloric history, can be read here: https://www.thoughtco.com/humans-can-lick-too-3299487. Additionally, a video portrayal of the same story can be seen here at http://urbanlegendsonline.com/humans-can-lick-too/, in which the girl actively sees her hand being licked by an intruder, and does not see her missing (presumably dead) dog.

Legends
Narrative

“Humans Can Lick Too” Story

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. I asked them if they knew, “the scary story where a girl gets her hand licked,” or, “the hand lick dog story.”

The informant does not remember when or where she first heard the story, but assumes it was from a long time ago. She is aware of the variations, but her telling is what she considers to be the true one.
“Uh, I know there’s a bunch of variations on it, but the general gist of it that I remember is that there was a girl… who was having a slumber party with a bunch of friends. And they’re like, ‘Ah let’s all go to sleep.’ And they do, and she had a pet dog who slept under her bed. And when she was feeling scared, she’d, like, put her hand down, and the dog would lick her hand, and she’d be like, ‘Cool, my dog.’ And then she’s like – In the middle of the night, she, like, thinks she hears something, or something? So she puts her hand down and the dog licks it and she’s like, ‘Cool! … My DOG.’ And then she wakes up in the morning and all of her friends are dead, and her dog is dead, and the person wrote on the wall, ‘People can lick too,’ or something of equal stupidity. And that’s the version I remember.”
Unlike other tellings of the story, the protagonist is not alone in her home, but at a slumber party, and wakes up to find everyone dead, including her dog. This version does not specify the method in which the intruder killed, or how the bodies were found, but does specify that the dog was “under her bed.” It also is worth noting that the words on the wall read, “People can lick too,” not “Humans.” It also does not specify the dripping noise that wakes up the protagonist that appears in many versions.

An analysis of several versions of this story, as well as some folkloric history, can be read here: https://www.thoughtco.com/humans-can-lick-too-3299487. Additionally, a video portrayal of the same story can be seen here at http://urbanlegendsonline.com/humans-can-lick-too/, in which the girl actively sees her hand being licked by an intruder, and does not see her missing (presumably dead) dog.

Legends
Narrative

“Humans Can Lick Too” Story

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. I asked them if they knew, “the scary story where a girl gets her hand licked,” or, “the hand lick dog story.”

The informant heard this story for the first time at a sleepover many years ago, around the age of 11.
“So there’s this girl, and she has a dog, right? And her dog – She g-, she goes to bed and either wakes up in the morning and her dog’s licking her hand or she goes to bed and the dog’s licking her hand. And so that’s the typical, kinda, way her day goes. And then… for some reason something… [stumbles over his words] There’s some point… in the night where, like, some – where something’s licking her hand, but then it’s not – then she figures out that it’s not the dog anymore cause the dog is, like, dead in the closet or something. And then she goes to turn on the lights and realizes that there’s, like, written in blood it says… it says, I think, ‘People can lick too,’ or something like that, or something implying that it… the point is you figure out that, that the dog is dead and somebody else has been licking her hand. And that’s all I really remember.”
This version specifies the location of the dead dog, but it is the closet instead of the usual bathroom. This version does not specify where the dog is when it licks her hand. It also is worth noting that the words on the wall read, “People can lick too,” not “Humans.” It also does not specify the dripping noise that wakes up the protagonist that appears in many versions.

An analysis of several versions of this story, as well as some folkloric history, can be read here: https://www.thoughtco.com/humans-can-lick-too-3299487. Additionally, a video portrayal of the same story can be seen here at http://urbanlegendsonline.com/humans-can-lick-too/, in which the girl actively sees her hand being licked by an intruder, and does not see her missing (presumably dead) dog.

Folk speech
Riddle

A Dog Walks into a Forest…

Folk Piece:

Who far could a dog walk into a forest?

Halfway because after that he’s walking out.

Background information

“Well, this is the first riddle my dad ever gave me. Uh, you know, I enjoy word play and I think it’s just a light switch that makes people’s heads really turn a bit. Riddles are just a fun way to get a conversation started sometimes, and yeah, I don’t know, it’s just fun seeing people try and figure it out”

Context

“Well, uh, like I said it’s the first riddle my dad ever gave me. We’d often toss riddles at each other back and forth – well, like, once I was older. And uh, yeah, I’m not sure where this one came from before my Dad, but I know my Grandfather also enjoyed word play, so if I had to guess it would be from him. Now I have a bunch of them I ask people if they ever come up. ” Sure enough, this riddle came up when exactly that was happening. I’d asked a group of friends if they had any good riddles or jokes, and two of my friends went back and forth with them. This was the first one that was mentioned.

Analysis

When I first heard the informant tell this riddle in the group, I had no idea it was an actually important riddle to him. At the time, I was just jotting the riddles down as they were told back and forth between this participant and another. I guess it would make sense, though, that his favorite riddle would come first.

This would be an example of a true riddle as are most of the riddles the informant would be talking about. Those that have a traditional question and answer, that can be guess based on clues hidden in the riddle itself. I believe this participant does it, however, to test an acquaintances intelligence. Not that he expects the other person to guess it correctly, but I think he expects them to enjoy it because of how clever it is. This participant definitely values his intellect and the intellect of his friends, so that would make sense.

 

general

Aralez

“The Aralezs are a kind of mythical creature from Armenia. To put it simply, they are essentially like a cross between a dog or a wolf and an eagle, so basically a dog with wings. Legend has it that they live on Mount Ararat, which is pretty much the most sacred landmark to Armenians. They used to be worshipped along with a lot of the pagan gods and goddesses before Armenia was Christianized and stuff. I guess the most notable thing about them is that they come down from the mountain in times of war to lick and heal the wounds of Armenian people. I’ve also heard of some people entombing their dead relatives in towers so that the Aralezs could come down and revive them.”

This is from my roommate who was born in Yerevan, Armenia, but he and his family moved to the U.S. in the late 1990s, before he was even five years old. However, he has spent most of his summers back in Armenia, visiting family and whatnot. He is fluent in Armenian and speaks it at home. He’s never really believed in the Aralezs, but he learned about it from his grandpa who would always tell him stories, with some involving Armenian mythology.

general
Musical

The Chocolate Ice Cream Cone Song

My (hold note) mommy said if I’d be good she’d send me to the store,

she said she’d bake a chocolate cake if I would sweep the floor,

she said if I would make the bed and help her mind the phone,

she would send me out to get a chocolate ice cream cone.

 

And so I did

the things she said,

I even helped her make the bed.

Then I went out,

just me alone,

to get a chocolate ice cream cone.

 

Now (hold note) on my way a-comin’ home I stumbled on a stone,

and need I tell you that I dropped

my chocolate ice cream cone.

A little doggie came along and took a great big lick (slurping sound),

and then I hit that mean ole doggie with a little stick.

And he bit me

where I sat down

and he chased me all over town.

And now I’m lost,

can’t find my home,

it’s all because of a chocolate, chocolate, chocolate ice cream cone.

 

The informant was my father, a 49-year-old engineer who currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but who grew up in the area surrounding Austin, Texas. The song is one that his mother used to sing to him and his siblings when they were little. The song was primarily sung right before bed, as well as occasionally on long road trips. The informant says his mother would sing it to the children almost every night, sometimes “perfunctorily,” sometimes smiling and adding “extra ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate’s’ on the end.” The informant sees it as a mix of a “bizarre lost kid fairy tale” and a “moral lesson for young kids growing up,” the lesson being, “don’t go out on your own or, you know, you might get lost and never find your way home again.”

 

This song was collected while I was home for Spring Break and performed in my living room. It was interesting to me because my father also used to sing it to me and my sister when we were children because, “when you’re a parent, you’re looking for, you know, the things to pass down and it was one of my favorite songs as a child.” The tune of the song makes it seem fun and harmless, but there is a dark undertone about the lyrics that I recognized, even when I was growing up. Looking at it now, I think it is less of a moral lesson, and more of a lesson to children about the random, horrible things that can happen to you when you are not expecting them. None of the events that take place are really the narrator’s fault (other than being chased by a dog after he hits it with a stick), and yet the narrator still ends up lost and alone. It is a dark reflection on everyday life hiding within a song for children, as is often the case with old songs and stories created for children.

general
Legends
Narrative

“People Can Lick Too”

INFORMANT: “So this is a scary story I used to get told all the time as a kid on camping trips or sleepovers or what have you. I’m totally going to mess it up, but bear with me. Okay, so there was this little girl who lived in a house with her family and her dog, and her dog would sleep right next to her bed each night. And she liked this, it made her feel safe to know her dog was there with her, especially when it got dark and she got scared like kids sometimes do in the dark. So whenever she got freaked out at night, she would hang her arm off the bed and the dog would lick her hand, and she would know he was right there with her.

So one night, the house seems eerily quiet, and she gets scared. She hangs her arm off the bed, feels the lick, and tries to go to sleep again. But something just doesn’t feel right, so in a few minutes she hangs her arm off the bed again. Another lick. So she goes to sleep, and eventually in the middle of the night she wakes up and needs to go to the bathroom. So she gets out of bed, walks into the bathroom, and turns on the lights. The whole bathroom is covered in blood, and the mangled body of her dog is crumpled on the floor – every bone in his body is broken. And she looks in horror up at the bathroom mirror, because there, written in dripping red blood, is the sentence ‘People can lick too.'”

 

When the informant told me this story, I wasn’t surprised because I’d definitely heard variations of it before. Ghost stories and scary stories are great examples of folklore because there are so many different variants of each story. Certain defining elements remain the same, but details change based on where you hear the story or just who’s telling it. This story in particular seems to utilize the rule of threes: the girl gets one lick, two licks, and the third time she wakes up, the time she goes to the bathroom, is when she discovers the dead dog and the eery message. This is an effective scary story because it makes you go back and think – it’s not showing you the monster, he doesn’t kill the girl or anything. But the listener automatically backtracks and realizes that it was the dog murderer that was licking the little girl’s hand the whole time!

ANNOTATION: Several other versions of this particular story can be found on the scary story website Creepypasta, including this one: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Licking

Narrative
Riddle

Choking Doberman

Treat is a new friend of mine. We shared two classes this semester. He’s a sophomore transferring from Norwich University. He is in the same NROTC unit I’m in here at USC. He’s lived in some very interesting places like Italy and the Netherlands. They move around to such cool places because his father is in the military and that’s where his father got orders to. Treat really likes ghost stories and Mythology. It was not hard interviewing him in the least bit. He had stories I had never heard of or could’ve even imagined.

Treat, being a fan of horror and legends told me a story about a dog who choked on some fingers:

“A woman returned from work and found her large dog, a Doberman, lying on the floor breathing funny. So she immediately grabbed the dog and put him into her car and drove him to a vet. The vet looked at the dog but didn’t really find anything at first for the breathing problem…so he said that he’d have to perform a tracheotomy. That thing where you put the tubes down the animal’s throat so he could breathe. He told her that she shouldn’t watch, said the dog would stay the night and the she could go home.

When she got home, the phone was ringing off the hook. She answered it and it was the vet. He yelled into the phone: “Get out of the house immediately! Call the police!” When the vet performed the operation, he found a three fingers were stuck in its throat. He thought the fingers may have come from some dead person in the house.
The police came and found a dead man in a closet with out fingers.
Analysis: The question is…why do stories like this exist. It serves little purpose. Is the message “don’t leave your dog home alone.” Or “get better alarm systems”? There are many variations to this story, sometimes the dog chokes on the genitals of the man, sometimes the dog dies.

Legends
Narrative

Larry and the Dog

Larry and the Dog

informant: Okay so there was this guy and his dog and they were out in the middle of the woods with this house that they were going to redo for his own personal use. Anyways . . . so he decided to just move into the house so he didn’t have to go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And then at about 2 a.m the dog starts like freaking out. . . oh his name is Larry. Anyways so [a voice] is like,

“Laaaaaaary, I can see you” and Larry’s like,

“whhhhhhaaaaaat?????”. And he was all freaked out and then the voice was like, “Larry, I’m 10 feet away” and then it disappeared. And then the next night, at the exact same time, the dog started like freaking out and the voice was like,

“Laaarry, I’m on your porch”.  And then the next night the dog flipped out again at the same time and was like,

“Laaaaaarrry, I’m outside your bedroom door”. And then the next night, the dog didn’t bark, so he opened his bedroom door and there was the dog . . . . DEAD. And then he heard a voice that said,

“Larry, I’m behind you” and then he turned around and then he died.

Interviewer: Where did you hear this story?

Informant: My friend told it to me at school

Interviewer: Do you know where she heard the story?

Informant: I have no idea

Interviewer: Who do you typically tell the story to?

Informant: I haven’t told the story since like, 5th grade

  Interviewer’s notes:

The informant’s tale is in accordance with Olrik’s Epic Laws of Folk Narrative, specifically and prominently, the law of repetition. The repetition effectively divides the story into discernible narrative parts and the builds suspense for the audience, which is especially important as the story was told orally. Also the age of the informants when she first heard the tale is possibly significant. The informant, in fifth grade, was on the cusp of puberty, as children are trying the sort out childhood fears and anxieties with that of adult expectations. Stories like this bring fears to the forefront so that they may be expelled by the time the children reach adulthood.

[geolocation]