Mother Holle is down! Go!

Which makes her sound like she is a) a shot-down fighter pilot or b) a fabulous rap star. She is neither, as of last check. In our house, she’s the spirit of winter, and she holds a place of honor right now on the nature table.

Usually, the nature table begins each season cleared of debris and looking tidy, a few colored leaves/stones/sticks scattered about on the silk or quilt-cotton fabric and perhaps a felt gnome keeping it company. (Does it matter if one spells gnome G-N-O-M-E or K-N-O-M-E if the g or k in question is silent? Y-E-S. I am a speller, and this kind of thing makes me crazy. Not so crazy as, say, “Your looking nice today.” Don’t make me smack you!) Felt gnome. Nice.

Then the season wears on, and a few trips to the woods or the beach and suddenly the nature table looks like Mother Nature sent one of her lustier Acts upon its poor surface.

But right now, the nature table looks like it does in the beginning, and has stayed so, I believe, not only because it has been a mere two weeks since the solstice marked a change in the table’s accoutrements, but also because Mother Holle is in residence.

Mother Holle (also known as Mother Winter, though not in our house) is a small old lady with a blizzard of hair. TMoTH thinks she looks like Dolly Parton sans bosom. I happen to agree, and had made mental plans to change her hair to impart a certain maturity (that is, to change it from curly locks to white wooly loveliness) when it became apparent that the Child in the house likes her. She is Mother Holle. So now, there you go.

It’s like loving a dog. You just take it, jowls and all. Dolly Holle she is, I guess. Who am I to question?

Mother Holle lives in a forest surrounded by snow and in a gingerbread house of mythic persuasion. Decorated by enthusiastic children and emphatic gentlemen, it would break the tooth of any ant who dared breathe in its candy essence. Don’t tell me ants don’t have teeth. I know.

Because Mother Holle lives in the snowy enclave that is the nature table, with her house and her forest, the only items that can visit must have a role in the story. So. Cinnamon sticks, once scattered about the house for smell and effect? Stacked next to Mother Holle’s house as “firewood”. The small wind-up chick with wheelbarrow who want to visit? Only if they help Mother Holle with her garden, but then go home. With their beets. But, if the chick wants to pick apples in the orchard or bake bread to give to Mother Holle, then she is all for it. That’s what the story says.

But the chick still has to go home. Because this is Mother Holle’s place, and if I say if Mother Holle says the chick has to go home at night, then the chick has to go home.


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