What's not to love about a book that tells the story of a perfectly-regimented town, upon the farthest edges of which "stood the last magic forest, and the forest was wild"? And, "In the very heart of the last magic forest lived the last wild Witch. . . . All day long she brewed herbs and leaves and berries in her big magic cauldron, making a healing brew that she fed to the birds and the animals and the insects and the fish in the streams whenever they felt a little low." I don't know about you, but when I find that recipe, I'm going to quit my job and buy a bit of land in the middle of the forest and brew that brew all day long and, once in a while, look up at the sky of green leaves and know, "Now, I'm a witch, doing a witch's work."
When the children from the perfect town sneak out at night and visit the last wild Witch,"'Have some soup,' she would say, and that is all that she would say." But after nourishing themselves with that soup, sometimes, the children would "stay out all night long, drinking the Witch's magic brew and dancing with the rabbits and the deer and the birds. And they weren't even tired n the morning." And you know and I know what it's like to drink that brew and what that dance is like when you've danced it with creatures on both sides of the veil.
And, honestly, how can you not adore a story that ends: "And sometimes at night, when the wind came out of the west, carrying wildness with it, everybody gathered to dance and sing all night long with the deer and the rabbits and the birds. And they weren't even tired in the morning.
So things were not so perfect in the no-longer perfect town.
But they were better.
Like the Fifth Sacred Thing, it's a practical story about how nonviolence can work, and nonviolent resistance is a great tool to provide to every child growing up in the 21st Century. The illustrations by WeMoon illustrator Lindy Kehoe are as magical as the text. I love this book; I can't wait to read it to G/Son.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."