Black Water Hattie

Black Water Hattie lived back in the swamp where the strange green reptiles crawl.
Snakes hang thick from the cypress trees, like sausage on a smoke house wall.
Where the swamp is alive with a thousand eyes, and all of them watching you.
Stay off the track of Hattie’s shack, in the back of the Black Bayou.

From the song, Swamp Witch Hattie, by Jim Stafford

Little Hare and the Moon


The hare ran as fast as his legs would carry him. However, his pursuers were much faster, and it wasn’t long before they were almost upon him.

The hare thought fast. Just as they were about to grab him, he gave the ball of fire a hard kick with his hind legs, breaking it in two unequal parts. With a second kick, he sent the smaller part flying high into the air until it reached the heavens.

And there, it became the gentle Moon.

Keep on Cooking

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Drama is very important in life:
You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.
Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake.

_Julia Child

Tsonokwa ~ Woman of the Woods

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“She’s called the wild woman of the woods. In some legends, she’s a giant. But she catches little children and puts them in a basket on her back, and then she takes them home and eats them.

“But she’s very slow and dull-witted, and her eyes are cast downward to symbolize this slowness of wit. So they usually get away.”

Her lips are pursed to make the “huuu-huuu” sounds that are characteristic of her. The sound is like the wind blowing, and when children hear that they will clutch at their parents’ legs so that they don’t get carried away by Tsonokwa,”

“But if you can find her house, you would come away with untold riches. For them, that consisted of furs, walrus ivory, dried fish, dried meats, and especially copper. Copper to them was like gold is to us.”

The well-stocked house of Tsonokwa means that she is a symbol of wealth. So when a chief dispenses his inheritance to his successor, she appears in a male form and presides over the ceremony. The figure representing the male form, Geekumal, wears a mask with a beard and mustache.

Retold by Anthony H. Taylor, a retired art teacher who spent a lifetime building his great ethnographic collection, and then upon passing donated it to  the University of Utah.
…and who taught me everything I know about art.

Hansel and Gretel

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“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to look after you!” Hansel tried to encourage his sister, but he too shivered when he glimpsed frightening shadows and evil eyes around them in the darkness. All night the two children huddled together for warmth at the foot of a large tree. When dawn broke, they started to wander about the forest, seeking a path, but all hope soon faded. They were well and truly lost. On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.

“This is chocolate!” gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.
“And this is icing!” exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage.

“Isn’t this delicious?” said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice.”We’ll stay here,” Hansel declared, munching a bit of nougat. They were just about to try a piece of the biscuit door when it quietly swung open.

“Well, well!” said an old woman, peering out with a crafty look. “And haven’t you children a sweet tooth?”
“Come in! Come in, you’ve nothing to fear!” went on the old woman. Unluckily for Hansel and Gretel, however, the sugar candy cottage belonged to an old witch, her trap for catching unwary victims. The two children had come to a really nasty place

“We’ll get to work on that,” said Hansel, “and have a real feast. I’ll eat a piece of the roof. Gretel, you can eat some of the window–that will taste real sweet.”Hansel reached up and broke off a little of the roof., to see how it tasted, and Gretel went up tot he windowpane and nibbled on it.

“Nibble, nibble, little mouse,
Who is nibbling at my house?”