Finch Horse Trade, A
DESCRIPTION: "Of sturdy pioneers one hears so much," but not all are honest. A farmer one morning finds his best horse missing. He goes to Black Earth to find another. He sees a very similar horse, but without a stripe. He buys it, then finds the stripe growing back
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (Gard/Sorden)
KEYWORDS: horse trick disguise thief
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Robert E. Gard and L. G. Sorden, _Wisconsin Lore: Antics and Anecdotes of Wisconsin People and Places_, Wisconsin House, 1962, p. 162, "A Finch Horse Trade" (1 text, presumably from Wisconsin although no source is listed)
NOTES: According to Gard/Sorden, the Finch family came to Wisconsin during the Black Hawk War. They were active in the vicinity of Jefferson and Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin (imagine a line between Madison and Milwaukee. It's somewhat south of the halfway point on that line). They often staged "Indian" raids, and hid in swamps. One of their tricks was to steal horses and disguise them with paint. Black Earth, where this event supposedly occurred, is a bit out of their range; it is west of Madison. The song does not mention the Finches, but they were apparently regarded as being responsible.
Gard/Sorden's text appears to be unique, and they give no evidence of a tune, so this may be a poem rather than a song, but I thought it better to include it just in case. - RBW
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