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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 How to Cut and Shred Cabbage (Quickly & Easily!) - Evolving Table

The Tale of Simmy Batbane


Ka-fwumpa! Ka-fwumpa!

I wake up just enough to wonder: What is that damn cat doing now?

Ka-fwumpa! Ka-fwumpa!

In compensation for their taillessness, most Manx cats have powerfully-muscled hindquarters. Simmy was a champion jumper.

Ka-fwumpa! Ka-fwumpa!

Finally, I sit up and turn on the light. Sure enough: a bat is circling the room (deosil, for what it's worth). Every time it goes past, Simmy jumps for it.

Oh, for gods' sakes, I think. I turn off the light and lay back down.

Ka-fwumpa! Ka-fwumpa!

I've just about managed to drop back off when suddenly I'm jolted upright by an unmistakable high-pitched shriek, on the bare threshold of human hearing.

Even out of mid-air, Simmycat always gets her bat.

Simmy Batbane lived to the ripe old age (for a cat) of 21, and her memory lives after her.




Back in the days of the Hwicce, the original Tribe of Witches, warriors were esteemed as protectors of the People. One who had slain a particularly dangerous enemy frequently became known as the Bane—slayer—of that noteworthy foe. Heroes, too, would be named for the monsters that they had slain: Sigurd Fafnirsbane, Beowulf Grendelsbane.

In our day, warriors are little esteemed, and the word bane little-heard. When used, it tends to be in less lethal circumstances than previously.



Back in the bad old Jerry Falwell Christianist days (re. Christianism: cp. Islamism, the use of Islam as a political doctrine), I had a friend who earned the epithet Nazzbane from her favorite sport of shredding street-preachers into slaw.


But Now...


Well, that's OK with me. There are other ways of protecting the People from a dangerous enemy than by killing him.

For instance: let me tell you the tale of Letitia Trumpsbane....




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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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