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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Death in the Summer

Summertime, and the young are dying all around us.

Like other predators, witches are territorial beings. As I patrol my own home ground in these days after the sunstead, I find dead bodies, more than at any other time of year.

Mostly they're the young.

This spring's squirrel kits have reached adult size. They're learning to negotiate the invisible paths in the sky that link branch to branch and tree to tree.

They don't always make it.

Fledglings mostly wear their adult size and feathers by now. To see birds fly, it's easy to forget how dangerous flight can be.

But dangerous it is. Flight is a test that not all can pass.

The grass beneath the tree is studded now with unripe apples. When the tree sets more fruit than it can bear, it drops some. Not every baby drupe can grow up to be an apple.

Sometimes we the living think of life as an entitlement.

But life is never owed. Life is a gift.

A gift sometimes withdrawn.










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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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