Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hubby's Superstitions Made Her Life a Burden


List Shows He Knew Them All

Woman Put Up With Them Until Life Ceased to Be a Pleasure, Then She Asked for a Divorce — Story She Had to Tell Beats Any Ever Heard in a Court Room

SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 6. — Because he is "the most superstitious man in the world," and for cruelty and eccentric habits arising from his beliefs, Mrs. Sofia Rudd was granted a divorce from Robert Rudd, a well to do farmer of Kitsap County. Here are some of the things he did, according to allegations presented for evidence:

When their only child was 1 year old she was forced to swallow a teaspoonful of fine sand, one grain meaning every [*line of text missing.]

He hung a live toad in the stable, in the belief that the total number of days required for the tortured thing to die would be the number of prosperous years of his life.

Last spring he compelled his wife to disrobe and walk wound a newly planted potato patch, that the crop might be a prolific one.

Nailed a wagon wheel over the gate and tied a skull bone of a horse to the gate, that none passing through bring disease to the family.

Impaled an owl on the gable and fastened a hawk to the side of the barn to discourage other birds from visiting his barnyard.

Would not permit his wife to raise ducks or geese, because white fowls are said to bring discontent.

Kept a piece of wood from a coffin once dug up in Oregon tied to his wagon to keep caterpillars off the farm.

A rooster was kept tied on to a nest for six months to discourage hens from wanting to set.

Scattered boards full of nails and pieces of barbed wire in the path traveled by his cattle on turning them into the fresh green pastures in springtime. If an animal was injured he immediately killed it, because he believed that same animal would have died from overeating before the summer was passed, and that to end its life then would thus save the grass for the other cows.

—The Saturday Blade, Chicago, Oct. 9, 1909.

*Note: A good guess would be one grain of sand for every day of the child's life that year.

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