Reprinted in AppLit with permission from the James Taylor Adams Collection
U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College

Collected by Emory L. Hamilton

Wise, Virginia 

NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folklore he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except for some obvious errors in spacing. 

See also Appalachian Riddles page, with a section on Riddles in Folktales.


Emory L. Hamilton  

150 words    

Wise, Virginia    

Told by Joe Hubbard, Easerville, Va., October 10, 1940.

The Poor Boy and Rich Girl

"I call this the "Walt Maples Tale" because he told it to me. A poor boy was going with an upstate girl. Her father was very rich and he told the girl his father was rich as he could be. He looked through the forest and told her his father owned all kinds of land, and hogs, so many, that mortal eye had not seen them all. He made her believe he was rich and they married.

She wanted to go see her people on the honeymoon and they went. Then he wanted her to go and see his people. They was poor as jobs turkey and the day they arrived his father had killed a bald eagle and they had it on cooking. That was all they had to eat. She saw how poor they was and made a riddle:

I just now returned from Arkansaw,

Such a dish I never saw,

Hail Columbia, happy land,

If I ain't ruint, I'll be dammed.

She wrote a check for five hundred dollars and give it to the boys mother and told him to stay there and take care of his parents."



Replaced Copy Made by the Blue Ridge

Institute to Replace Unstable Original

April 1991

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