Monday, 26 September 2011

The Rainwitch

Tess Kincaid's Magpie No. 84
Woman In The Rain

The land was burning.
There had been no rain for the whole of an exceptionally hot summer;
grass on the hillsides turned dry and brown, leaving sheep and cattle without feed;
hedges and verges grew dusty and trees lost their lustre.
Desperate and exhausted, the people turned to the Rainwitch for help.

Their plight moved her heart.
(She was one of the good witches, always willing to do her best for those in need)
She saw livestock dying in the meadows, 
 crops withering in the fields,
rivers running dry, 
and fish suffocating in shallow pools which had been shimmering lakes. 
She called her familiar, Old Raven, and bid him fly up into the  skies.
"See where the rainclouds have gathered,
and bring me news of those ready to discharge",
she ordered.

When Old Raven returned he had a gossamer thread of the finest silk tied to his wing.
" I have found the clouds ,
see, I have brought a flock of them , enough to refresh the land."
he  croaked.

The Rainwitch
duly did her magic.
lakes and rivers were overflowing,
bursting their banks.
The sky was black and heavy
with a flock of clouds,
 darkness swallowed light. 
day became night.

At first the people rejoiced.
They danced in the rain
as they watched their wells fill up with life-giving water,
and grasses, fields and hedges recover. 
"Thank you, thank you", they cried.
"You have saved our lives and our livelihood.
We will be forever in your debt."

But by and by, as the rains continued to fall, new voices were heard.
"Enough already", they said. "Enough of a good thing.
Are you trying to drown us?"
Roads flooded, and the people couldn't drive their livestock to market.
Fields were sodden and crops in danger of rotting.
Bedding grew damp and mouldy and depression set in.
"Will these dark days never end?"

Old Raven brought the news to his mistress.
"They are fed up down there", he croaked.
"You know that humans are never satisfied, whatever you do for them."
Old Raven was a wise old bird, he'd  seen it all before.
The Rainwitch was a little annoyed.
"Very well, then," she said, 
"I shall return to them and stop the rain".
She climbed up on her rock rising from the lake, spread her arms wide,
and told the rain to end
and the light to return.

"But I'll tell you one thing, Old Raven," she said, 
while the rain eased and daylight once more returned to the land,

"this was the last time I've come to their assistance. 
From now on they can make do with the seasons."

She was true to her word
and the picture above was the last anyone ever saw of her again.


  1. wonderful tale. for a while I thought it was about us but then the rains came and they still haven't.

  2. Lovely tale - never cross a witch, good or bad. I like the way you've formatted your words, too.

  3. Fascinating tale! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  4. That's the trouble with witches. Always a little short on moderation.

  5. Very well told tale. Those in power are responsible for those who aren't.

  6. what an enchanting talefriko...ack never mess with the witch for sure...and nice creative delivery...

  7. All too often that's how dry spells end; torrential rains and flooding. I've never heard of a rain witch, but my father, and others like him, were called water witches, finding the best spots to dig wells using a forked branch cut from a tree. He was convinced it worked, and having watched him in action, it's hard not to be a believer. Jim

  8. You write these fables and tales and parables so well, Friko. I'm still encouraging you to think about a modern-day almanac complete with photographs.


  9. She came here , instead . Not that I'm complaining or anything !
    No , I love wearing wellie boots 24/7 and growing mould . Really !

  10. A classic tale - what marvellous images you conjure up.

  11. This post is so timely. David has a little chant he does to the "rain God." Lately hea hs been asking him to "turn it off." Perhaps we should leave well enough alone??

  12. "Be careful what you ask for."
    This is a nice little fable with a good lesson Friko.

  13. Wonderful fable, excellent telling.

  14. Awww that is sweet. Sometimes I wish we had a Rainwitch we could turn to for assistance. :)

  15. You building up to Halloween, by any chance? After the witch, do we get a warlock, maybe? LOL.
    I'll put the cauldron on for a special brew - you bring the frog's legs and bat's wings, OK? *smiles*

  16. Another great story, but I know, you've got a million of em.

  17. Wonderful has been an exceptionally hot summer in these parts...

  18. This is an incredible Tale!!! Lots of effort went into its creation.

  19. Oooo, goosebumps at the ending. We humans... You've written a really excellent "fable" for our times.

    The WV is "forsher." :)

  20. I thought we were in for a bit of Zen there for a moment.

  21. Bonza tale. We've just come out of a 12 year drought down here in Oz and just like your tale we got to much all at once and got flooded out just about everywhere :-).

  22. First of all, I love the idea of a Rain Witch! And I'm with her, if they don't like her results, let them do for themselves and see how blessed they were when she helped them. Ingrates! ;-)

  23. oh please let work her magic over here, washing away much more than the heat of the summer gone.

  24. very cool formatting! +followed, come check my blog out when you get the chance!

  25. Love you poem and love the painting!

  26. I love a good witch & a bad one, too. You write yours in cinema scope. No quotidian noises or forced brightness. ~Mary

  27. Left with the seasons? Did she mean the Four Seasons? Sheri, Sheri baby...

  28. That was great! You put a lot into the prompt.

  29. That was terrific! And isn't it so true?

  30. Feast or famine to this very day...

    I would like to touch base with the snow witch though...maybe we could work out a deal.

    Great story as always!

  31. You know the old saying, "be careful what you ask for, because you may get it" -- true here, huh? Lovely story, and I will be grateful for the seasons!

  32. You just can't fool with Mother Nature, as they say. Or, if you do, as this clever story demonstrates, it's likely only to get worse!

  33. eine wunderbare Fantasie mit einer guten und wahren Botschaft an die Menschheit...! Grossartig!
    Dir einen ganz schönen angenehmen sonnigen Tag, liebe Friko!

  34. Moderation in all things: even in what you wish for.

  35. What a lovely fable. And so true. I have been nattering for a week now about how cold and damp it is. Two weeks ago I was nattering about the heat.

  36. I always knew there was some cantankerous witch behind the changes in the weather!

  37. I like your fable, and the back and forth format.

    But did she turn cantankerous after this? :(

  38. Damn ungrateful humans. Never happy!

  39. Wonderful tale. I'm pretty convinced Scotland's got a rainwitch we don't know about...!!

  40. It's a thankless job, being a weather deity.

  41. I love this - THANKS :-)
    Beautiful imagery.

  42. Thank you, Friko. You've told this so well, and have made me stop my complaining about today's hot, humid strange late September weather in New York.


  43. Wonderful write as always... a teensy bit of intrigue, a drout, a flood all combining for a glorious story.

  44. I think you should publish a book of legends - According to Friko
    lovely tale

  45. you did a grat job and the picture is also very beautiful keep it up.

  46. We must be careful what we ask for!


  47. I like the idea of Rainwitch, Friko. The woman embracing the rain, dressed in mermaid dress, beside the crow is inspiring. We have a mythical bird, “Shibi”, which brings about rain and protects wooden architecture from fire on the top of the roof.

    We can’t protect against nature fully, nature always win. These years, nature has gotten more violent both in the rainfall and in the drought. I wonder now is a time to pay consequences for what humans have done to nature?

    Today it's sunny and comfortable. I'm so thankful.


  48. Wonderful! I love your Rainwitch and her wise Raven, Friko. Yes, you must write more fables.

  49. With your permission, I would like to send this one on to my expat Brit neighbor, she would love it, as I did.
    Could I possibly be reading too much Terry Pratchett, tales of witches...naaah...


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