Greetings, my esteemed human reader. Let me introduce myself: I am a squirrel, or, if you prefer, a rat with good PR, and I am also the lead editor of the scientific column in the periodical “Forest Courier.” Do not be surprised, but do think about how richer and more colorful the world beyond your knowledge is, since a tiny rodent like myself can indeed be regularly published and have a degree in anthropology!
My current topic is the forest witch. This creature is very, very rare – thankfully –, and since during my walks I have accidentally came across its lair I should like to take the opportunity to present my scientific findings in a detailed essay.
First, let’s briefly review the folkloric elements. It is the most appropriate to expound on the oldest available shamanic chanting which shows savage crudity for describing the horror:
her nails are of hen's,
her hair is sea-weed,
her heart is of stone,
her larynx is spring reed,
her nose-cartilage is a long piece of iron,
her teeth are rubies,
her skin is moldy bark,
her eyebrows are wasp stings,
her warts are thistles,
she scrounged her ears from a rabid fox,
her fat is bat guano,
one of her eyes is a duck’s egg with an embryo in it,
her other eye is an amber oak-gall,
her kneecaps are sterlet gills,
her womb-stomach is gate to outer space,
her lungs are interlaced puffball spores,
her tears are newt-slime,
her armpits are moss,
her breasts are two black bull scrotums,
honey oozes from her navel,
her neck is hollow wax,
her tongue is hog's penis,
her blood is human blood,
her passion is destroyer.
So far, my observations that I have been executing since three months, have allowed me to confirm two motifs of the folkloristic piece above. It is known that from time to time the witch must renew, exchange its body parts, however eerie it might be to comprehend this rather alien metabolism.
I have witnessed with my own eyes that at night in May she was cutting reed by a creek, then the chosen items were left on the bank, perhaps to let them dry, and she only returned days later, and with a croaking mumble she kept repeating the following: “where is the larynx? where is my larynx?”
The other confirmed motif is regarding the nose, although it is not unambiguous whether she has actually replaced the piece of iron or just took it out for a while. I have specifically seen that she pushed the long, pointy metal through her palate with jerky movements that suggested that it was very painful for her, until her skin was sufficiently bulging at the area which was to be expected anatomically. It was an awful and unnatural experience which at that time, I am not ashamed to admit it, have caused me nightmares.
Her hut in the forest is made of adobe and stones upon which a thatched roof is raised in the clumsy manner fit for an old woman. Her iron cauldron was brought along with her since fifty years, her broom was manufactured by herself using birch branches cut during a full moon. She is always busy with her concoctions. To create these she heaps up the most absurd ingredients that are often stored in huge, buried bowls filled with salt. Her magical powers are legendary and she uses enchantments by which technique she enhances the success of her curses. Her awake–asleep cycle is unpredictable, she could be active at any part of the day, however, she usually goes marauding at nights. While she is away wraith-shades haunt the precincts, but it has not been identified by this author whether these are parasites or domesticated deadstock of her. Maybe it is because of her natural radiations that in the vicinity of her lair strange herbs and foul plants proliferate, and small or large burrows open up on trees in which duckweed covered dew accumulates and canker immediately. Out of windows and the openings in her hut putrid, bitter-sour smoke seeps that creeps and spreads over the area like some poisonous cloud. The writer of these sentences ponders about organizing an expedition to explore the interior of the hut at a later occasion.