“If you sprinkle salt on a birds tail it won’t be able to fly”
Informant Analysis: “My friends and I heard this from someone at school or something like that, and we kept trying to prove it wrong,as if, as if that was even possible. We would spend hours when we were really little waiting for a bird, salt in our hands, waiting for a bird to be still long enough to try to test out our theory. We wanted to be able to do it and then kind of, I guess, corral the bird into a cage so we could keep it as a pet, because it couldn’t get away.”
Analysis: It’s interesting how the informant took this folk belief and proceeded to investigate it with his friends. Most of the other beliefs I collected are prohibitive, and with this one it was something that had to be proved, at least it seemed that way to the informant at the time. In that way this belief became active, something that the informant could participate in, even if he was never successful. I think as kids, they wanted to be able to control something, and by enacting this belief successfully they could somehow gain some authority over something less powerful than them.