miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2013

Old wive’s tales

  Do you believe in magic? — The old lady asked in a stern voice. She watched the child with her only eye from behind her hood. The boy did not even open his mouth. He looked at the old lady’s bony hands. Her knotty fingers almost got confused with the wood of the crook which she was resting on.

      A harsh guffaw escaped from the gap-toothed mouth of the old lady. — You are right, young boy.— The woman bent to see the child closely. Her decrepit face stuck out of the red ragged hood, showing a blind milky white eye. The boy stepped back, shaky. —  Magic doesn’t exist! — the old woman concluded emphatically, as she hit the ground with her staff.  —  True power is here...— she whispered while pointing to her head with a twisted fingernail, and she sat on an old stump sighing.

      The boy didn’t know what to think about that woman. He had heard the odd rumours on everyman’s lips. She was “the witch of the oakwood”, they said, the one who had ruined the harvest, poisoned the cattle or bewitched youngsters to devour them in her ramshackle hut... but he could only see an eccentric and exhausted old woman. Even so, the fragile woman imposed a deep fear in the boy’s heart... Or maybe it was the fear imposed by the murky stories he had heard? The boy sat on the grass confused, staring at the old lady with curiosity.