Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Little People

This gorgeous boulder lies at the edge of our orchard and things live under it. Possibly a groundhog or two, maybe some rabbits or there could be snakes. But whenever I see that long dark opening, I think of Little People -- not the Munchkins of Oz but the really little people - Shakespeare's English fairies small enough to use a shed snake-skin as a wrap and his elves who make jackets of bats' wings. Or maybe the Yunwi Tsundi.

It was the Cherokees who once hunted in this area that told of the Yunwi Tsunsdi - a race of Little People living in caves of rock here in the mountains. Handsome and well-formed, with flowing hair reaching almost to the ground, they were reckoned to be kind, helping lost people and especially children to find the way home. But, the old legends warn, the Little People value their privacy and if any traveler attempts to follow the sounds of their drumming to their dwelling-place, the Little People will cast a spell that will send the wanderer even further astray, turning him around and around and bewildering him forever.
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