It has been a puzzling question to decide just where to draw the line in separating foreign from what we may call current American folk-lore. The traditions and superstitions that a mother as a child or girl heard in a foreign land, she tells her children born here, and the lore becomes, as it were, naturalized, though sometimes but little modified from the form in which it was current where the mother originally heard it. Whether to include any folk-lore collected from oral narrators or from correspondents, even if it had been very recently brought hither, was the question. At length it has been decided to print only items taken down from the narration of persons born in America, though frequent parallels and numberless variants have been obtained from persons now resident here, though reared in other countries.
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