Pond with Witches and Blackbirds

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I’m in the process of reading a large book called The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. It’s well over 700 pages so it’s taking me a while to get through. Though I’m loving it, it’s taking me a while. Because of that, I decided that I’d go back and review a few books from my past. I looked at my shelves and looked and looked. Then I saw a small book and I got super excited. We’re going back to my elementary, pre-teenage years for this one. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. We read this book in school when I was in the sixth grade, I was 12. Just in case you didn’t know what age you are in the sixth grade. Just a random addition here: I remember being sick when we read this book and something was with my teacher and she wasn’t there for like an hour and the elementary principal took over the class for the while and my nose was super stuffed because I was sick and started to run and I didn’t want to get up for a tissue because I was scared of the principal. It was a good class, but I just had a stuffed nose and I was miserable. I loved this book so much I used my own my money to buy it. Big thing when you’re 12. In case you don’t know about this book, let me recap for you. And it’s in my own words.

Kit Tyler is an orphan and she’s going to Connecticut Colony from the Caribbean islands to live with family. Who are Puritans. And they live in a strict Puritan community. She only feels accepted at with an old Quaker woman who lives far from town and is also known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. And she also feels accepted by a sailor named Nat. Wink Wink. When people find out Kit’s friendship with the Quaker is found out, things go downhill.

So reading this in school, there’s the historical aspect that you’re taught. The witch trials, coming to the colonies, pre-Revolutionary life, etc. I always liked history so this was really interesting. I found out a lot a lot about the Witch Trails with this book. Like are you a witch if you float or you sink in water? Either way you’re screwed right? Either way you’re dead. (Note: With recent events, I could make inappropriate comments with that. But too soon and I don’t want to offend anyone and they are horrible things that I could say.) It’s also a reminder that since this book is set in Connecticut and there’s witch trials. I tend to forget that the witch trials were outside of Salem, Massachusetts. Being accused of being a witch was a much larger thing than a lot of people realize or remember. It was in all the colonies and abroad. There was also a huge witch “problem” in Europe as well. And today people are called witches all the time. Witch is not the word that the speaker is always insinuating. And people are also saying they are and relating to being witch. So the meaning of the word witch is different now than it was in centuries past. I also appreciate that Kit was from the Caribbean. (How do you say that word? What syllable do you stress? The Cari or the be? Just curious.) I forgot that people didn’t always come straight from Europe. Sometimes they stopped in the Caribbean. Everyone has a different story and it’s ridiculous to think that everyone came from their home in Europe straight to where they are living now in the States. My family didn’t. A lot of my family went from Germany to Russia before they came to North Dakota. One part of my family has more than German blood in them and were in Ohio before North Dakota. Some of them even returned to Ohio after WWII. Sometimes you forget that there’s a history before you.

Actual book. Let’s talk about it. If you didn’t get from my description from the book, Nat and Kit get together. Or you assume they get together. At 12, I didn’t see that coming right away and when I realized he was asking her to run away with him on his boat that he just bought, I was ‘ahhhh that’s so cute’. Yup, actual thought and I then I wanted someone to buy a boat for me and ask me to marry them and run away with them. And then there were other things he did that were cute. Looking back, I don’t know how that would work. I don’t do boats very often. It’s not that I’m anti-boat or that I get boat sick. I just have no access to boats. There’s a lake like 20 miles away and I’m like an hour away from the Missouri River but still, where am I going to go with a boat? So maybe at 12 it would have been more applicable for me to daydream about being whisked away by a bike. I could ride on the guy’s handlebars or something.

Then there’s the fact that Kit almost married someone other than Nat. Horrible. I didn’t like that. But there needed to be conflict and being set up was part of the society. Whatever. I also appreciated that this book shows how she struggled to fit in and how she kind of worked at trying to fit in. It’s a good message. Kit couldn’t change who she was. The back of the book describes her as a tropical bird. And coming from the Caribbean to Connecticut, it makes sense. Caribbean is super warm all the time and then Connecticut isn’t. I’m supposing on both. I’ve never been to either. It’s a good message to kids.

But I keep coming back to being accused of being witches. It’s almost like my Mermaid kick I had a few years ago. It’s mass hysteria. I think that people are intimidated by knowledge and things that they don’t understand. Hence people knowing how to help people with a disease when the majority don’t or actually knowing how to swim so you can be a witch. I then wondered what the modern equivalent is to a witch hunt. In the States, it may be cops. I had a discussion about this with some of my kids in Hungary. Part of it is racial but you rarely hear the good of a group of people. You hear a lot of the bad things happening with cops in the past few years. Yes, the things that are coming out are bad. But these are the select few situations. You don’t hear all the good that the rest of the police force is doing. So cops are getting the brunt of it.

Personal life update. I’m reading a lot, I’m trying to finish up some projects. I started working again at the nursing home, which isn’t my favorite job but it’s a job. I did have a few residents that were really excited to see me again. I’m at the other farm full time. I have a fridge now and still no oven/stove. I was at war with both toilets. One is fixed now. The other one is in the bathroom that’s in the entry way and I don’t use that bathroom anyway. I’m also used to the noises now. One night there was strong winds and I was hearing creaks of the house (this house is 50 some years old so it has it’s creaks) and I texted my mom about it and she told me to come home if I needed but I just turned up my stereo and fell asleep to a movie so I was good and then she texted me in the middle of the night asking if I had electricity, which I didn’t, and I was up for another hour listening to the noises of the house. Yup, I now remember I have an overactive imagination. I even heard noises last night I was hesitant over. I swear that it sounded like a foot step! But that’s life.

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