All The Farm That Is Fit To Print

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Folk Tales--Hospitality

In old tales, a famine lay over the land. Meanwhile, a good wife darns next to the fire. A knock sounds at the door. A traveler appears at the door, worn and hungry. The good wife, remembering the rules of hospitality, invites in the traveler and makes sure that he is safe, fed, comfortable, and warm. Her husband comes home and berates her for using up their small store of food. Then, the traveler is revealed as a magical figure--in Ireland, sometimes he is a wandering holy man or saint---who blesses the woman for her kindness. (Perhaps her goats always gave good milk afterwards or her butter was the best in the county.) The return for hospitality in these tales was to be singled out as special in the domestic realm.

May your doors always be opened to fantastic travelers bringing domestic magic.

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