Come. Come and sit with me awhile, child.
My bones are tired today.  Rest with me for a spell while I speak of Long Ago…

The two of them sat whenever they chanced to meet along the winding path between their village and again during each of the Ripe Moon Gatherings.

The child settled into onto her favorite mossy boulder. It formed a perfect seat amid tall tress and lacy ferns deep in the forest.  The last vestige of the setting sun cast shadows in long lines across the forest floor creating alternating patterns of light and dark. The coolness of the forest breeze sighed against her cheeks.

The child, small and lithe, was in her 7th year. Long, chestnut brown hair graced her shoulders. In a tan, rough woven sack she carried packets of herbs, spices and cures to and from the villages to others in need.  Her mother was both revered and feared in her knowing of local plants and their magik. The child learned to be quietly observant when dealing the small packets to the villagers. Her gentle yet quiet demeanor created comments of “Odd” and Queer” and “Peasant Witch”. Most folk left her and her mother to themselves.

The Old Woman with her sharp, hawkish features, deeply lined face and long silver hair worked a small farm just off the main path between Here and There.  No one could recollect when she came to the area, or to whose kin she belonged.  They only knew her as Old Woman Speaker who told the stories of Long Ago.

Perched comfortably on the short stump of an ancient log belonging by right to the eldest storyteller, she began to speak….

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