Last autumn, before I had little PI, Lil
and I journed up the mountain for our
It is a popular hiking trail and I often run into strangers along
the way. My attention drifted to an elderly Indian woman who had
been walking off the path among the weeds and shrubbery and would
suddenly stop, say a little chant and collect a piece of plant or
twig and place it gently in a worn should-strap straw basket.
As I watched her bend over a certain plant, the should-strap broke
and spilled the contents of the dilapated old bag. I went over to her
and offered assistance in gathering the bag's contents, of which
there were even some small rocks. Well, no wonder the strap broke.
She seemed to be very grateful for the help and it turned out the
bag was almost too heavy to carry in her arms. As I sat down on a
rock and started untieing my leather hiking boot lace, I said, " I
have an idea, " This boot lace is strong and perhaps we can weave
the strap together again.
She objected that I give up my boot lace, but I assured her I was
nearing the end of my hike and I'd be home soon. It was her deft
fingers that interlaced the leather to the strap and it was soon
strong once more.
She appeared very grateful and assured me she would repay my
kindness. I told her it was "NO PROBLEM" as I continued my
trek down the trail with my boot tongue flapping in the dirt.
She appeared to be so interesting that I wanted to meet with
her again and for the remainder of the summer I described her
to stranger I met and asked if they knew her.
One couple said they knew "of" her but warned me to stay away
from her because she was a "witch" and could do both "good
and bad medicine." Well, I laughed at that and as winter approached,
I had to stay off the snowy, slippery mountain.
Just last week after several days of bright sunshine and higher
temps, I couldn't wait any longer and was inspecting the lower
muddy trail of the mountain.
There she was as if she suddenly appeared
from out of nowhere, the same weathered old
straw bag hanging from her arm and holy
moly, my boot lace was still holding it
We chatted a few minuted like we were old friends, asking how our
winter went and entering into various little non-personal tid-bits of
conversation. She then said something that set me back on my
hiking boots-with-the -new-laces, heels. She told me how grateful
she was for my kindness and that she had put a spell on some "bad"
people who had wronged me. I know I gave a little nervous laugh
and said something like, "You didn't have to do that." (yeah, right)
But she had already started on her way and I doubt if she heard me.
I called the muddy dogs to me and we started for home.
I kept wondering if there was anyone in my crosshairs and what she
meant "by a spell."
So if there is, better watch out........No No...only kidding........