Judith Billings, author of MAID, MOTHER, CRONE AND THE RABBIT NET, will be showcased at the 2011 Tucson Festival of books at the UA Alumni Authors Tent on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.
An excerpt from MAID, MOTHER, CRONE AND THE RABBIT NET
by Judith Billings
THE NET SPEAKS
Oh, listen ye, and well attend, for I’ve a tale to tell.
My life’s been long and it’s been full, and I have lived it well.
Maid, Mother, Crone together will help unfold my story.
True, it is a humble one, yet, also full of glory.
Three stages of life, Maid, Crone and Mother.
Not knowing o’er time that each is the other.
Made many years ago when hand work was the norm,
On a hot dry dusty Plateau-that’s the place where I was born.
Apocynum; the plant I’m from, miles of twine they made,
Working all together in Winter’s gloom and shade.
The gathering and the peeling, the spinning and the knotting:
After all these many years, still no signs of rotting.
The women used their hair to make some places dark,
Shells and beads were added so I was not so stark.
Then their Basket Maker men, staked me so in place.
Canyon walls rose at my sides, grassy shrubs were in my face.
The women and the Maid waited till all was ready.
Then their voices they did raise and beat the bushes steady.
Rabbits large and rabbits small
their lives they gave with speed.
I helped to catch them all, my People for to feed.
And then when Life did cease to be, the rabbit robes endured,
To keep stilled bodies safe, their Spirits were secured.
One day the People left for good with sadness and with tears;
White Dog Cave became my home for 1400 years!
I am long and I am heavy
So I had to stay,
Folded small and set aside
Until one fateful day.
The desert sky was crystal clear;
Hot and dry and blue
Until the wind it did blow,
Then sands came swirling through.
The Mother knew and guided men
Seeking where I hid.
Fearing naught from death,
She did as Spirit bid.
Cautiously they entered
From the sunshine bright
Working very carefully
To label all things right.
Then, I was shipped from West to East,
A long trip in the Fall
The Peabody did keep me there
Until there was a call.
Four precious little bits of me
Were sent back East to West
To wring the guarded secrets
Grown faint from my long rest.
Professor here, professor there
One wonders why they cared.
They probe, they think, they write:
Crone’s knowledge duly shared.
You’ve listened well.
Lo, and behold.
Maid, Mother, Crone.
Our story’s told.
Contact author at firstname.lastname@example.org