Crossed your eyes

When I was younger and my two sisters and me were bored and had nothing to do we would often be very rowdy and annoying. When my mom would drop us off at my grandmas we would be bored for hours. My grandma would always make these weird riddles and sayings in order to keep my sisters and I occupied. One of the scariest tales she told me was if you looked at a clock with crossed eyes when the clock struck any hour it would cause your eyes to stay that way. My sisters and I never tried this in fear of our eyes getting crossed, but later when we were teens we tried it again and nothing happened.

Informant: The informant for this story is my girlfriend’s mom Heidi Winkenhower. She grew up in an extremely German household as a child and tried to pass down folk she learned to her own kids. She currently lives in Corona Del Mar, California and is in her late forties. I was able to talk on the phone with Heidi so she could relay the story to me.

Analysis: I have heard several versions of stories where if you cross your eyes and something else happens then your eyes will stay crossed. Personally, my mom would say this type of folklore to us when me and my brothers were out of control and making ugly ridiculous faces. I think this folk could have started as a way for parents to scare their kids from making such ugly faces. It worked for me in my childhood and was always so scared to cross my eyes in result of my parents telling me my eyes would stay that way.