Sunday, August 26, 2012

Double, double, toil and trouble

...eye of newt and and toe of frog...
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd. 
Thrice; and once the hedge-pig whin'd.
Harpier cries:--"tis time, 'tis time. 

The weirdest thing happened while I was down in Stratford this weekend.  I was planning on planting a letterbox and thinking about my favourite Shakespearean play, Mac -- maybe I shouldn't say.  You know. That play.  The Scottish play. But when I said its name, suddenly, three witches appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the letterbox out of my hands, floated away, cackling.

Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.--
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!

I was following them at a careful distance on John Street North when I saw that they darted through the gates of the Avondale Cemetery.  That couldn't be good.  I chased them straight up the hill and then went left at the yellow building on the left.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.
I continued following them on the asphalt until I saw Mackay, Lockheart and Mary Hislop Turnbull on the right - at that point we veered to the left again.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

When they came to the T in the road at the stone house, they continued straight and to the left.  And at the next T, I followed them to the right.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

As I noticed Ferguson and Meharry on the right, they darted left off of the asphalt and down a gentle hill. As I followed them past the last stone of Mary Powell, I could see them heading down to the water where they pulled up short at a small river, not daring to cross moving water even with a bridge.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangl'd babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,--
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.
Instead, at the giant two-pronged dead tree, they headed to the right.  I chased them taking 30 steps along the path which became cedar chipped until I saw them dart behind yet another giant to-pronged dead tree and dance on a dead log behind and touching it.  There, I saw them dance and chant.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.
I was too frightened to do anything about my letterbox, so I turned tail and ran.  So, I'm not sure.  It might be there.  So might the witches.  If you do see the box, please come and leave a comment here to let me know how it is.  And if you see those witches... run.

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