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A tramp calls at the child's home for a "hand out. Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. Andy When I was little I took several salt shakers and went looking for birds because I'd overheard the saying that if you could sprinkle salt on a bird's tail you could catch it. We both found out the truth at the same family dinner.

Salting a bird's tail

Show most recent or highest rated first or go back to birds. The child, sobbing on the steps of the porch happens to think of putting salt on the bird's tail and immediately sets out with a box of salt and the bird cage in pursuit of her bids pet.

Our mom told us that if we sprinkled salt on a bird's tail, it would be our pet forever. Donna C. I think I snuck them back in the next day. I remember running through the yard chasing after rabbits with the salt-shaker in hand. I was 10 years old when Brds found out that wasn't true.

Whenever it landed I was right there salting its tail. Me and my friend used to go outside with a bag of salt and we'd try to get it on the birds' tails.

Put salt on the tail of

The Ranger was amazed when his mother denied ever having mentioned such a thing to him or even having heard of it. Poor thing ended up panting with exhaustion trying to stay away from me and my mother was totally puzzled why there was salt all over the house. The best explanation that the family could come up with was that Grandad Ranger must have told it to him — and as that splendid old fellow died some 25 years ago it would be hard to use him to settle the debate.

It furnishes a theme for this well-drawn and lively drama of home life, a tramp's gratitude and the cordiality of the little child who loses through an accident the canary bird which was given her by her father. However the story certainly does not seem to be that common.

Edit Storyline The saying, "If you want to catch a bird put salt on its tail," is a pleasantry of such long standing it is familiar to every man, woman and child in existence. Anon top belief!

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It was perfectly safe to eat, after the treatment, so it was no big deal. Scott : Redgauntlet,chap. Mairia Thanks to a cartoon, I truely believed that if you poured salt on a bird's tail, it would fall off. TB Samurai One time my grandma told me that when she was little, a man in a restaraunt told her that if you put salt on a birds tail, it couldn't fly away.


My grandfather told me if you put salt on a birds tail it couldn't fly anymore and i could catch it, so i would go in the backyard and chase the birds around with a salt-shaker leslie My mother and father told me you could catch a bird by putting salt on its tail I spent a lot of hours clutching that salt shakertrying to sneak up on birds! At dinner I was mortified when my mother commented about not being able to find her best pewter birsd shaker.

The new year of preventing the dove of peace from flying away Sslt Hall tries to immobilize the American Fenian Brotherhood for capture and deportation cartoon Salting a bird's tail is a legendary birs of Europe and America, and an English language idiom. I would spend hours sneaking up in birds in the backyard with a salt shaker. Dictionary of Phrase sallt Fable. I remember many visits at grandparents were spent chasing birds with salt shakers. The Ranger would love to hear if anyone else has heard this story, and was taken in by it!

The Ranger mentioned a bit of mythology from his childhood — which he had dutifully passed on to junior Rangers Bill and Jack — that birdd you want to catch a bird, you need to put salt on its tail.

Salting a bird’s tail — fact or folklore?

My dad used to tell me that I could so easily catch the little birds hopping in the yard if I would just put salt on their tails. I'd left all the shakers outside under the porch! I kept trying this sal a couple of years.

Salting of takl bird's tail has been used by analogy as an idiom for immobilization of persons since at least the 19th century, by writers such as Walter Scott [3]Robert Burns[2] Walter Lantz[8] John Phillips[9] and others. I have since realized, that if you can get close enough to actually PUT salt on a bird's tail, you can catch it anyway!

Written by Moving Picture World synopsis. An allusion to the folk method of capturing birds by sprinkling salt on their tail feathers.

My Great Grandma used to tell me if I could put sslt on a birds tail it would be my pet. But it would still be interesting to know how prevalent this tricky tale is.

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My grandmother once told me that if you put salt on a bird's tail he couldn't fly, and you could pick him up. Her mother is provoked and reprimands her for her carelessness. I spent hours and hours one summer with the salt-shaker remember the tall Tupperware ones?

I was never able to get close enough so I ended up setting my mother's parakeet out to fly around the house. To his relief, there were some crumbs of sapt, perhaps the most authoritative being: E. Tzil top belief! Had he dreamt it? It finally did dawn on me that if your close enough to salt the tail, your close enough to grab the bird He told me that the same thing worked on birds' tails.

Laying salt on a pigeon’s tail

Finding the reference above does not answer the personal question of who told the young Ranger about the salted birds, which answer is now probably lost in the past. I can remember doing a lot of bird chasing when I was young. If you could sprinkle salt on a bird's tail you could catch it. Loverly Duverly — exploring the duvers of the Isle of Wight - 19th July, Saalt the Ranger had an enjoyable family day out with various relatives.

My family seemed to speak in a constant flow of colloquialisms, which I took for fact. On his return home, the Ranger sought evidence to back up his increasingly unlikely-sounding memories of childhood salt-inspired pigeon-chasing. I used to run around the yard with a saltshaker chasing robins.