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“The Woman Sucked His Blood” an Ozark folk tale from “Who Blowed Up the Church House?” by Vance Randolph. This folk tale was collected from Elbert Short of Crane, MO, June, 1933. It is related to the ballad “Sir Hugh” which is featured in local varieties in Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Folksongs I.”

“One time there was some little boys playing ball in the road, and one boy knocked the ball over a high stone fence. They could not climb over because the fence was too high, and they was afraid to go in anyhow, because there was a old witch lived in the house. They figured she might kill them, and it was better to let the ball go, and not take no chances. So the little boys all run away, but there was one big boy there, and he walked right in the gate.

“The old witch kept herself hid, but there was a pretty blond-headed girl come out to see if she could toll the big boy into the house. When the boy seen her he says, ‘Where’s the old woman?’ The girl says, ‘The old woman don’t live here no more, and I am all by myself. I am lonesome, because there is nobody for me to play with, and if you come in the house I will give you a big red apple.’ He went in and eat the apple, and then she give him some fine red cherries, and he eat them too.

“Pretty soon the blond-headed girl says, ‘If you come in the other room, I will give you a gold ring, and then we will play games.’ So he went in, and she give him a gold ring. Pretty soon him and her got to tickling each other and rassling around like young folks do. And while they was a-romping on the floor, the blond-headed girl out with a little sharp knife and cut his throat. Then she began to suck blood like a mink, and the old witch come in, and she sucked some blood too. And while the boy was a-dying, they put a wash-basin under his head to catch the rest of the blood. Then after it got dark they took him down back of the house and throwed him in the river.

“About a week after that the folks found him lying in the water with his throat cut and the blood all gone out of him. Everybody knowed who killed that boy, but they couldn’t prove nothing. The old witch and her blond-headed girl had lots of money. They paid off the lawyers and took care of them courthouse rats, so nobody ever done anything about it.”