Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Cattle-Raid: A Legend of the Dobunni

In the dawn of days, the Great Mother called all the peoples to her, her children, and to each people she gave its own proper food.

To the Cornovii she gave the deer to be their food, and indeed they are great hunters to this day. To the Brigantes, she gave oats to be their food, to the Iceni barley, to the Silures sheep, and so it was. To each people, its own proper food.

But to our people, to the Dobunni, to us she gave cattle to be our food, and their milk and their meat are indeed the best of foods.

Of all the peoples, it is to us that she gave cattle, and so it is that our young men will try their boldness and cunning by raiding the herds of others.

For since the Great Mother in her wisdom gave cattle to us, the Dobunni, in the beginning of days, when others have cattle in their keeping--the Cornovii, the Brigantes, the Iceni, the Silures--it can only be that these cattle have been stolen from their rightful owners, that is to say, from us, from the Dobunni.

So let no one be so foolish as to say that Dobunni steal cattle.

For everyone knows that no man can steal what is already his.


The Dobunni were that same people which in later days came to be known as the Hwicce. Some would say that from them and their ways came those we now call witches and witchcraft.

And some would say otherwise.





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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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