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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Old Lady Hawthorn

Damn that old lady Hawthorn.

There she goes, knocking my hat off.


I don't know how old she is. Being a Siberian hawthorn, it could be hundreds of years. Judging by how gnarled and ornery she is, I'd say probably pretty old. Older than me, anyway.

And did I say attitudinous? Old lady Hawthorn is the undisputed ruler of this lawn, and you'd better not forget it.

Before you mow, you'd better tip your hat to her. You'd just better. Likes that, she does.

Otherwise, she'll knock it clean off your head.

Like she just did.

And if you're taking a break to drink some cold water on a hot day, you'd better pour out a few drops for her first. Oh yes.

She has her ways of getting even. This time, the hat. Next time, she'll give you a slightly more solid reminder. Right up side the head.

Respect her or else.

Superstition? Ha. I've found that when I tip my hat first, or pour out my drops of water, I can push the mower under the low branches with impunity.

But forget and it's: Ignore me, will you?

And then she knocks off my hat.

It being the beginning of mowing season and me not quite back into the routine of things, of course today I forgot.

And of course she did just what she always does.



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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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