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Jacob Hatcher

Folklore

By Jacob Hatcher

Community Columnist

I was wading in a little inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Haiti when the missionary leading our group told me a story of a former witch doctor he once knew.  “He told me once,” my missionary friend said, “that a neighbor had betrayed him in some way, so the next time his neighbor went on a journey, he turned into a dragon and flew in the sky above him in order to rain fire down on him.” 

“Sure,” I said, “but he didn’t really turn into a dragon, right?”

“You go tell him that.”

As I sat around the family table last week listening to and sharing tall tales, I listened intently to the details of the ridiculous things we all claimed to have experienced.

Ghosts climbing up walls, brushes with death, fighting fires on mountain tops, and enough dog stories to fill a book.

I couldn’t help but think that if someone unfamiliar with us had been sitting there they likely would have asked, “but that rattlesnake wasn’t really fifteen feet long was it?”  The reality is that it doesn’t matter how true the story is. The important part isn’t the facts; it’s what the embellishments tell about the storyteller.

One such example is when Mama and Daddy were facing lean times and they had a jar with their tithe money in it from Daddy’s job delivering pizzas. Food was short and they considered borrowing from the tithe money until payday a couple of days later, but decided to figure out a different way to make it work.

Once they had made their final decision to not borrow the tithe money, Daddy tossed his wallet on the bed. It hit the bed with a thud, then bounced off and onto the floor. When he picked up, there was a stack of bills in it where there had been none just a few minutes before. And from that point forward, Mama and Daddy trusted God to provide.

Of course, you might think that’s crazy. You might even say, “Come on; money didn’t magically appear in his wallet, right?”

 Well, you go tell him that.

 

 

 

 

 

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