Friday, February 22, 2008

A Woggle of Witches

A Woggle of Witches
by Adrienne Adams/ published 1971 by Charles Scribner's Sons

If a woggle is a device used to fasten a neckerchief, then this ring of witches is eternal. What completely endears me to this book is that all the witches look exactly alike, and they all wear the same expression of absolute glee. The sharp white faces and the wisps of grey hair flowing from under tall pointed hats.... dancing across the sky on their broomsticks so fearlessly. Luckily, these witches don't spook the boy too much. He thinks they are more rascal than rotten. What does chill him to the bone is the very thing that scares the witches... a tribe of trick-or-treaters with their monster masks and skeleton suits.

"What is that coming our way?"
"Oh, mercy, what-on-earth?"
"It's a parade of those monsters!"
And they hide however they can.
"Let's get out of here," they cry.
All quivering and quaking,
they leap on their brooms,
and slant toward the sky.

This is the sort of book that makes you want to believe in hobgoblins and wizards, for if they are nearly as much fun as these quick-witted, airborne devils, the netherworld must be a fantastic place indeed. For the feminist child at heart, these ladies sure can teach us a thing or two about running with the wolves.

Also by:
The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up
Mr. Biddle and the Birds
The Wounded Duck
The Easter Egg Artists
Butterfly Time
Ponies of Mykillengi

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