When I left the small cottage of Baba Yaga and travelled back home to the Hermitage I thought this was the end of it…A good sleep in, and a pleasant day sitting out in the sun reading and writing up my journal.
I returned to my bedroom after breakfast with the girls, to gather up my bits and pieces and there sitting on the windowsill was a raven ..black as black ,they are beautiful creatures I thought…..” I havn’t any bread for you my pet” I said. The raven was perfectly still, it was then I noticed that he had a piece of cloth tied with a band to his leg… I approached quietly thinking he may fly away,but he perched perfectly still and let me undo the fine leather band ,then in a whosh he was off (I think it was a he) ….
I undid the cloth and and written on it was a message from the Baba Yaga which said….” Heard you were into gardening in a big way Lois ,and you are pretty damm good,my vegie and herb patch need a makeover…get here today before lunch and I will tell you what I want done”.
Who did she remind me of….I won’t name a few of my bossy women friends but the message was familiar…
I thought that a secret between friends was just that but this Crone Baba Yaga was a hear all ,see all ,sort of woman…..But you know I liked her when we first met,she was my kind of girl…. so I didn”t mind doing a bit of gardening for her …..
Realising from the first visit that it was a fair walk,I went down to the Hermitage stables and borrowed a tame horse to travel to the forest cottage.
I arrived there in less than 1/2 an hour ,nice ride in that beautiful part of the mountains.Baba Yaga was already out in the garden ..with an array of shovels,forks,rakes and hessian bags.”Already for you my Dear Lois” she said smiling …Still wearing that long blue skirt and the red pullover I noticed….no fashion plate is Baba Yaga.
I tied up Rainbow my horse, gave him some hay to eat and there was a tin tub of water I lugged over for him as well. I had done a days work already I thought.
Instructions given by BabaYaga would fill a book,so I got going hoping I could finish it all in one day…..(Funny girl Lois) Two hours had gone and it didn’t look as if I had done much ….”Lunch time” Baba Yaga called.
So down tools and in for a bowl of home made soup and bread…very welcome ….
“How much longer will it take Lois” she said……” Well if I work till say ,4 o’clock I will have done about half of it” “How long since its had a good going over” I said……..”It’s ages since I had a go at it” she said “Do you know Lois I’v’e had a stream of travellers , all women except 2 blokes, and they’ve been calling in , one after another I think I need a revolving front door”.
“Questions needing answers,problems needing sorting,fortunes told,and if I hear another story about embarassing bath house experiences I’ll scream,”she said.I could not but smile.
I finished the clearing out of the vegie and herb patch at about 4pm ,but there was a lot more to do..like staking up the tomatoes and the beans ,thining out the carrots and parsnips and on and on it went….So I knew I would have to come back tomorrow for the whole day to get it all in order.
Baba Yaga was dozing by the wood fire when I let myself in to tell her I had finished for the day and would be back tomorrow…..”Good Girl” she said “See you later. love”..(She reminded me of my Mum )
I climbed up on Rainbow ,and was glad he knew the way back to the Hermitage as I think I dozed on the return journey…
As I arrived at the stables ,others had already returned their steeds after a day out to the lake for a picnic…I had been conned by the Baba Yaga ,why did this raven select me for the gardening makeover…Someone had been dropping hints at my expertise in the vegie patch….but who…….?
I would find out and keep them in mind…if not .I thought,this old Crone had the power to see into the other world,so perhaps it was why she had chosen me for my skills…….I was tired ,a quick lie down before tea after a hot wash sounded good to me………..
No sooner my head touched the pillow and I was asleep…
I was on my bed of feathers ,the small bedroom window blowing a nice evening breeze across my face ,my knitted rug warm against my tired but healthy body.
What else could a woman want.????????????????????
Lois (Muse of the Sea) 21/8/05.