Mules and Men Part II, Chapter Four: Questions and Answers

Zora Neale Hurston

Part II, Chapter Four: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the significance of Father Watson’s nickname “Frizzly Rooster”?

2. What does Mary want Zora to bring from Florida?

3. What is in the “break up” jar?

4. After Zora is initiated, what is her power?

5. What does Father Watson mean when he says, “That’s a low fence”?

6. How do you punish a person who is already indicted?

7. How would the sex of the victim affect the ritual that drives a person away?

8. What is the power of Black Cat Bone?

9. How is the circle “protected” in the black cat ritual?

10. What should Zora do every time the cat screams?

Answers
1. A “frizzled” chicken, a chicken with backward feathers, is sometimes kept by people because these chickens can scratch up and locate any hoodoo that might be buried on their property.

2. Mary wants Zora to bring her a piece of coral from Florida so that she might have some hoodoo power of her own.

3. The “break up” jar holds vinegar, unsweetened coffee, and papers with names written on them, presumably, people who want to have relationships broken for themselves or people who have been cursed by others and want to break that curse.

4. Zora becomes a “Boss of Candles” and is able to “light candles, and put out candles, and work with the spirits anywhere on earth.”

5. To Father Watson, a “low fence” is a problem that is easy to solve.

6. Write the victim’s name on a piece of paper and place it in a deep bowl. Then add red and black pepper, one eightpenny nail, fifteen cents’ worth of ammonia, and a door key. Place another door key by the side of the bowl. Every day at noon, turn the key by the bowl and add a little vinegar to the bowl.

7. The ritual requires a flat onion, but it should be a sharp pointed onion if the victim were a man.

8. The Black Cat Bone supposedly allows one to “walk invisible.”

9. The circle is “protected” by nine horseshoes.

10. Every time the cat screams while being boiled alive, Zora must curse the cat.