Granddaddy Granddaddy… Which way did my cows go?
I remember my grandmother teaching me the phrase above as a small child. I wasn’t really afraid of spiders but I did get pretty nervous around them. I’m not sure if I saw the Granddaddy Long Legs and panicked or if she saw it on me and decided to be proactive but I do remember her picking it from my shirt and holding it up while she repeated the saying. Like magic the little crawler lifted one leg that just happened to be in the direction of the cattle. I was very impressed by her ability to talk with bugs. So impressed that I asked for her secret. Before too long I found myself holding the granddaddy long legs and with all of the respect for the power of talking to bugs I repeated word for word the magic phrase. “Granddaddy Granddaddy Granddaddy, which way did my cows go?” Again the little critter pointed to the cows who were gathered by the fence waiting to be fed. Of course it was all coincidence and the imagination of a child but for a while I was convinced that something outside normal was possible and that I could communicate with other lifeforms. Granddaddy Long Legs’ powers of divination not withstanding, in latter years I learned that this was more or less a folklore that was originally from Appalachia. Folklore is a pretty interesting thing because it’s part of a common culture that gives people a heritage and thus bonds them together. And I think that most folklore contains a practical element. Not all of folklore contains cautionary tales with ominous warnings. The Granddaddy Long Legs lore calms the fear of “bugs” puts Granddaddy Long Legs in the role of a helper. And he is. Now he’s not a spider. They produce no silk and contrary to popular belief he has no venom and only some types of Granddaddy Long Legs produce a mild toxin in their bodies to ward off predators. So what do they do that’s helpful? They feed almost exclusively on aphids. Aphids being common garden pests that suck the life out of our favorite fruits and veggies while transmitting disease to plants are kept in check by a healthy population of Granddaddy Long Legs. So in the early days a homesteader must have noticed the Granddaddy Long Legs holding one leg out and made up the rhyme to keep people from killing his garden helper. ( That’s my guess anyway. )
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
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