Smart Pills

Nationality: American

Primary Language: English

Other language(s):  

Age: 55

Occupation: Banker

Residence: California

Performance Date: 3-12-18



What it is: Smart Pills

“One day, when I was around seven years old, my grandfather had come over for dinner. He beckoned me to him and whispered in my ear, ‘have you ever heard of smart pills?’. I replied ‘no’ at which point he went on to explain, all-the-while, telling me that this was between us. So he explained that if I ever wanted to prank my friends I needed to do this. He said that I should go around our backyard a pick rabbit pellets (because they best resembled a pill). Once I had the pellets, I needed to put them in a medicine tube (the orange prescription bottles you get from your medicine).  Then he said ‘at school, or after school (probably after school when you are all playing), ask your friends if they wanted to be smarter. When they reply yes, hand out the pills, but stop them just before they put it in their mouths. Explain to them that it is actually a rabbit pellet and not safe to eat. When they ask why’d you do that? What was that for? etc. tell them ‘Hey. I did make you smarter…now you’ll think twice when asked if you want a smart pill.’”

Why they know it:  His grandfather told this to him and he has since passed it on to his kids.

When is it said: This is said when someone wants to prank their friends (of course they stop their friends from actually eating the ‘smart pills’). This is meant to be funny.

Where did it come from: Not known

Why its said: It is usually told to those who need a good prank

How they know it and what it means: Robert was told this by his grandfather

Thoughts: While I personally have never tried to trick my friends into taking rabbit pellets, I can imagine that this would be quite amusing. This prank seems quite mischievous which is part of the reason why I never partook in the prank; however, I believe that this is an excellent example of what folklore is. The sharing of knowledge across time. While this is not the best knowledge to spread it gives an insight into who the people who were taught and teach this legend.