Ignorance and prejudice and we walked hand in hand ~ Witch Hunt by Rush
Margaret was out digging up Valerian root for a pregnancy pain concoction that she was making early that morning. June Ludlow had been suffering through the carrying of her tenth child and the town doctor didn't seem to be able to do anything for her. Then again, maybe it was general attitude that if a woman died in childbirth had pregnancy that it was God's will. As a result, there were always women coming to her for help with childbirth.
The early morning chill seemed to sink into Margaret's bones. To ward off the chill a little she drew the felt cloak closer in around her. Using her digging stick she soon had the root out in the open and she was able to extricate it in one piece. She opened her little carry all satchel and placed the root in it.
Noticing a nearby Elm tree she decided that she should get some bark also for a pain and fever reducer. It would be necessary apparently all the way through June's pregnancy. This one definitely wasn't going to be easy.
Seeing the rooftops she realized that in her search she had wandered too closely. Her eyes got wide as she desperately hoped that she hadn't been spotted. While the women willingly went out of their way to consult her, the men weren't the same way. Some of them called her a witch and many times she had heard the scripture quoted, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".
Margaret sneaked around behind a tree she made her way directly away from the town until she reached the grove of trees. Once there she felt that she could breathe a little easier. She could make her way back to her little hovel the rest of the way without being seen.
Making her way through the grove she had to keep ducking brambles that had grown up large. They would hook on to her cloak and tear it if she wasn't careful. With winter coming on soon she wouldn't be able get another one easily either.
Finally, she made her way to the other side of the grove into the opening. After the chill of the grove it felt quite a bit warmer so she removed the cloak's hood from over her head. Her brown hair was now free to cascade down her back and shoulders. Absent-mindedly she reached up and moved any stray hairs to join the others away from her face.
Reaching the hovel she entered the opening that acted as a doorway. The curve of the roof and the outer wall was created by the bent samplings that were ingeniously woven together. Bits of moss and skins helped to insulate the walls from the outside.
In the middle of the floor was the hearth with a cast iron pot and still glowing embers from the fire of the early morning. The stones in a ring around the hearth were blackened by numerous fires over the years. A few of them had broken when the hearth was heated up extra to warm the hovel quickly.
More to come….