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June 11, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Take your hands off Harry

She came in like an avenging angel. Only her horse was black and the dragon was of her own making. Fairy Tale Russian. 1916. Falcon the Hunter. ill. Pape (USPD., artist life/

She charged in like an avenging angel. Only her horse was black and the dragon was of her own making.(Falcon the Hunter/USPD/

Lucky there was a Wiccan in the neighborhood.

She was the only one with undisputed standing. Had a dog in the fight.

And a fight is exactly what it was setting up to be.

A self appointed protector of community values mom had recently moved into the neighborhood and she was on a mission.

When she marched into the Elementary School, the one humorously referred locally to as the “United Nations”, and demanded that all books in the school library that involved, featured, had pictures – even a shadow of a whiff – of witches, demons, ghosts, dragons, fairies, myths, magic, or any supernatural elements must be pulled from the shelves and removed, the administration and librarian were frozen like deer in the headlights.

The woman loomed tall, looked them in the eyes and with calculated, experienced voice and said those books were all works of the devil and against her religion. Spat out words like “Constitution”, “freedom of religion”, “discrimination”, “rights” and “lawsuit”.

No one knows where she came from.

I’d say a Banshee, but that would be, uh, given her beliefs, not actually possible….

1921. Demon and woman. From Jurgen, a Comedy of Justice.ill.Pape (USPD., artist life/

No doubt the woman saw herself as sacrifice to save others…and posted about it frequently on Facebook.(Illustration ironically titled “A Comedy of Justice”. USPD/

Why someone didn’t stand up and say, “Welcome and just to let you know this community is very, very  diverse – race, creed, and colors – a reason why you may have chosen it – and we accept all even you, you shrill, obnoxious, narrow-minded, self righteous little harpy.

Then everyone tried to be polite, to understand, to diffuse.

To try to get along for everyone’s benefit.

Heck, we even had a great Jewish guy who was the music teacher who managed to pull off a lovely holiday performance before Christmas Break (It wasn’t called Winter Break yet). A lot of “Jingle Bells”, and “Frosty the Snowman”, but he somehow pulled as neutral as possible seasonal music from everyone’s cultural heritage. (and every kid in the entire school did something…kazoos, triangles and little maids a-leaping in unison were popular for weeks before)

Much appreciated.


A two way street.

Woman looking up at tree. "come down cried the hero's wife" Russian Fairy Story Book, 1916. ill. Pape (USPD., artist life/

“Sorry, I’ve got to go and straighten out something at my kid’s school.” (USPD/

Soooo back to the story, one well placed phone call and a “Shut your mouth come to meetin’ “

That rigid, self-centered mom moved her family far from the Mouth of Hell she had accidentally stumbled upon once she discovered not one, but several Wiccan moms lived in the neighborhood….

Who were not shy about showing up to say something: About ignorance. About using “rights” or “religion” to bully others – to force them to change to what you think they should think and do.

About “Keep your mitts off Harry Potter. Geesch, it’s fiction.”

Tolerance. Magic worth saving.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Postscript: We heard Mrs Crusader forced their child’s new school to rename the Halloween Carnival the Fall Harvest Festival (With no masks or costumes – only pumpkins and happy straw cornfield guardians – women, no doubt). But wait! That wasn’t enough. The Harvest Festival the next year was moved to become the Spring Fling…to get as far as possible away from that Pagan Halloween and Día de los muertos.

One of the neighborhood Wiccan moms got a chuckle over that…Spring, you know….Persephone, Esotre, Ostara, the equinox, bunnies… 

airy tale. Water Tsar dances. Russian Story Book, 1916, ill.Pape (USPD., artiist life/

Freedom is dancing as you wish and letting others do the same. (WOW. Two strikes against this illustration: supernatural elements AND it’s a RUSSIAN fairy tale. Always the Russians. USPD/



Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Jun 11 2020 6:25 am

    One of my professors in seminary — perhaps the best, now that I think of it — taught one course that used literature as a jumping off point. When Moby Dick was highlighted, he described Captain Ahab as the perfect example of a person with “an infinite grudge against the universe.” I’ve never forgotten that. It’s come to mind more frequently of late.

    Liked by 3 people

    • shoreacres / Jun 11 2020 6:26 am

      By the way: if you have a truly favorite book or film, get your hard copy now. Don’t depend on the digital censors to keep it available as a Kindle book or livestream.

      Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2020 6:59 am

      Sounds like an astute professor. Wise educators understand the value of teaching classic literature with universal themes and characters. Easier to talk about character flaws or controversial concepts when talking about fictional people/situations that real ones students are experiencing themselves – keep the hysteria and hyped emotion out with fiction and no one feels singled out/targeted. You can actually talk about the issues – and both sides of it with civility
      Or that was the time honored strategy…so much easier with the “modern” scripted Direct Instruction with chants and call/ response…oh, wait, that’s conditioning..the lowest level of learning, parroting on cue.
      I love his lovely analysis of Captain Ahab – it is so applicable to many you see around today. That character was a Quaker? Hmm must refresh memory
      (Yeah, I noticed that the easily triggered and those unable to suspend belief ( and hatred) enough to see a piece as a snap shot of the times – able to see it in context of the times – were already casually rewriting or banning certain movies (Holiday Inn is one that was a trial run) because they themselves were insecure with their concepts. Now they are going (again) after books – urging people to go not their book shelves and remove books reinforcing “old/untrue concepts about this country”
      No live and let live there. No agree to disagree and still be friends. Often feeling like we’re sitting in a 7th grade lunch room….)

      Liked by 2 people

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2020 7:29 am

        And now they are demanding the cartoon “Paw Patrol” stop. Times says it only shows good police dog officers…Apparently you can’t show police officers in any good light. To a statement by the producers, Nickelodeon, someone responded “Defund police. Euthanize police dogs” Vicious mean people trying to grab power.
        It’s fiction people! Cartoon for little kids. They need some sort of faith in law and order and a secure world where little kids will be protected.
        Ya know the big trouble with inmates running the asylum? They are so mad they do not realize the extent of the damage they are doing…or don’t care…even more dangerous…
        Keep your hands off Paw Patrol!


  2. Irene Tobias Rodriguez / Jun 11 2020 6:55 am

    Isn’t it sad how one person can force their wishes on others, which ends up taking away the freedom of the majority.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2020 7:12 am

      If you give some people and inch, they’ll take a mile ( and complain it’s not enough). Waaaaay overboard with the concept that one individual/group is more important than the entire group/majority.
      Can’t please them – and you can’t please everyone – which is why compromise must be learned early…not an option for a civilized free society to continue and make progress. Fine balance or else.
      Thanks for the astute observation

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins / Jun 11 2020 7:38 am

    This is all so tedious. It’s like when a good friend finds religion, then tries to convert everyone 24/7. Good friend becomes ex-friend. One good thing about nuns as teachers is that they didn’t put up with anything. Maybe it was the uniform. People fell in line although the library was limited. I read biographies of every saint there ever was. Some of the deaths were pretty graphic for a kid too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2020 1:31 pm

      Gads, those nuns ( and public schools even…the enforced dress code may have been different, but the attitude so similar) I guess “experts” now can’t understand why we all aren’t serial killers? It was always funny that some moms back then banned the original versions of legends and fairy tales yet shoved those gruesome pictures and stories of Saints.
      I always worry about kids like that odd mom. Those kids are so sheltered, over-protected and given such a narrow view of the world for so long, sooner or later they hit what is common experience for others to the just plain old harshness of life and have trouble reconciling it all.
      OH, well. A place for everything and everything in its’ place…and you hope all find a place where they are happy and stop trying to run other people’s live.
      Thanks for adding to this tale

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Jun 11 2020 7:49 am

    The only thing a tolerant person cannot tolerate is intolerance. There’s some saying to that effect. What a story.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. disperser / Jun 11 2020 2:53 pm

    I’m glad someone was there to fight the good fight.

    . . . I’m losing hope that there will be enough around as we go forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2020 3:22 pm

      Totally nuts. Apparently she was used to bulldozing her way along, but hadn’t met our neighborhood yet.
      It used to be like whack-a-mole keeping the fools down – and a humorous game – wit once being applauded; more frequent and higher stakes now.
      Thanks for pausing to chat.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sustainabilitea / Jun 11 2020 6:47 pm

    We had a somewhat similar experience in our home school group many, many years ago. The Harry Potter books got less than short shrift so my husband and I decided to read them. Liked them, read them all. Still don’t believe any of the series is true and our girls, who also read them, didn’t succumb to magic or demons. I told my husband that it was like whiplash. In the home school group I felt like Ted Kennedy and to the outside world, I was the craziest conservative. Sigh. Greek myths got the same treatment. I always enjoy them as did the girls. As I told them, who would want gods with all the power who acted like children?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Irene Tobias Rodriguez / Jun 12 2020 9:11 am

      But it’s OK to include graphic sex in movies and books even when it is not necessary to the plot. Not to mention violence in video games. They want to get rid of the good stuff and keep the bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Jun 12 2020 3:12 pm

        To be fair, this group wouldn’t want any of those things either. I resent the highjacking of perfectly good books and movies with gratuitous sex. The Brits have generally been able to avoid the tendency, saying something to the effect of “They retired to the bedroom” or something, leaving anyone who wants to imagine free to do so. In movies, it’s like pay-per-view sex. Not a fan! Sex is meant to be private, not a public spectacle.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 12 2020 3:18 pm

          Class is classy. To add something to just make sure those who normally wouldn’t pay attention or spend money to see it cheapens the original. Note to producers, if a story source doesn’t have the scenes you feel is important for ticket sales, drop that one and pen your own.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. D. Wallace Peach / Jun 11 2020 6:57 pm

    *Sigh* I’ve run into a few of those people who screech about freedom but only if it’s their version.
    “Tolerance: Magic worth saving.” Nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Irene Tobias Rodriguez / Jun 12 2020 9:13 am

      Tolerance, you say. Quoting from a “South Pacific” song , “You have to be carefully taught”

      Liked by 2 people

      • D. Wallace Peach / Jun 12 2020 9:25 am

        I actually think “tolerance” is an loaded word as it implies putting up with something lesser. I prefer the words “respect” or “honor” or “celebrate” differences. Curiosity rather than fear. Hopefully we’ll get there.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 12 2020 10:13 am

          You may be right – except that here (there area always region/national differences so your location may have different understanding/usage), with the limited vocabulary knowledge, “tolerance” is pretty unknown as a word/used – archaic and belonging to past – as is “temperance” (…”temperance in its modern use is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint.It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing.This includes restraint from revenge by practicing non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance by practicing humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as extravagant luxury or splurging by practicing prudence, and restraint from rage or craving by practicing calmness and self-control.” WIKI…and that’s the “modern definition” – the teetotaling connection mostly forgotten/unknown)
          “Respect” lost meaning here in the ’70’s-’80’s and is now useless. “Celebrate the differences” was a huge phrase trying to find common ground in the ’80’s – on many school signboards and in hall ways…that’s overkilled and useless and ridiculed. The phrase and its’ overuse became a joke. “Celebrate differences” is more in line now with a festival/party/let’s get together and eat drink and be merry connotation.
          Fear of “different” is usually muted by frequent pleasant interactions. Living and working towards a goal improve life for all…or helping during times of crisis when everything for everyone goes back to basics to survive – floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, massive fires tends to remind people there is more in common that not.
          “Tolerance” is/was internal for each/every individual’s actions and thoughts in this post’s usage. It does imply compromise to get along. More “We agree to disagree and still be friends” sort of concept. That neither individual is not forced to give way or relinquish, just accept people are different and don’t bully or hit. Just be nice – most people can do that -even if just for short periods if they try. …manners did have a place to keep those of wide difference civil in society.
          “Honor” Noun – now there’s an archaic word…mostly for school awards…Sad. Or verb? Now that’s really loaded. To many that means give up/give in and means individual must raise something to the highest level – on a pedestal- whether you agree or not…hypocritical stuff of politicians and probably funerals or companies giving awards/money for virtue signaling or to buy clients or customer loyalty.
          Curious, indeed (all assorted meanings)
          Fear seems an odd take – but I grew up in multicultural/multimingual community, like with regional differences, experience gives individual perspective. Perhaps those who live in a more uniform community do fear those who they have never encountered. It does seem odd though. But that is the key, perhaps, adults fear and pass that on to children ruining their natural curiosity and initial first impressions acceptance.
          Sigh. As things are going with vocabulary and usage, we are rushing back to stick figures and pictographs.
          Maybe they will go back to memorizing phrases of tolerance: “Agree to disagree and still be friends”, “treat others as you wish to be treated”…
          we can always throw in the “I’m rubber and you’re glue, it bounces off of me and sticks to you” or “takes one to know one”
          Its’ all beginning to remind me of a 7th grade lunchroom food fight.
          “You’re it; I quit.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • D. Wallace Peach / Jun 12 2020 10:25 am

            I guess I’m showing my age. Lol. I do love the golden rule. That about says it all.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Irene Tobias Rodriguez / Jun 12 2020 2:13 pm

          I agree

          Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 12 2020 10:17 am

        Astute and great catch.
        Crosby, Nash and Young’s lyrics are also on target and still relevant.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 12 2020 10:49 am

          I’ll never forget an experience when I was working as a trouble shooter expert helping school districts identify problem areas and create a plan with specific strategies to improve student outcomes. The building Principal and I stopped in the hall by a room full of 4 yr-olds, a fed. funded preschool of disadvantaged kids with eager faces. They were all on their carpet squares around a standing teacher who had her back to the door and us. The teacher held up a rope noose and said “This is what white people kill black people with.”
          The Principal’s jaw dropped and then she looked like she was going to pass out. Then the teacher turned, saw both us, and looked terrified.
          We moved on and nothing was said – about that, but that “lesson” taught to bright young open minds probably happens in more schools and homes of all races, creeds, and colors than people are comfortable admitting
          As you say, “You have to be carefully taught”
          And such is why we all must be ready to gently offer alternative views of life and people than ourselves. Be kind. Treat others as you wish to be treated.


  8. Spinster / Jun 12 2020 9:01 am

    I’m so tired of ignorant people. Glad that (mostly) cooler intelligent heads prevailed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 12 2020 11:03 am

      Somehow, dogmatic people are worse than simply ignorant ones. Facts and knowledge is an easy fix for the latter, but the first? Almost impossible to redirect thinking of an “my way or the highway” extremist – no matter which far political end they are from.
      Thanks for joining the ones who just wanna get along.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spinster / Jun 12 2020 11:11 am

        Great point. Thanks for the extra food for thought.


  9. KDKH / Jun 23 2020 2:45 pm

    Being raised in the Bible Belt having veered off in another direction, I’m happy to hear that the Wiccans are here to stand up for the rest of us!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 23 2020 3:10 pm

      People have more in common than not – if they’ only practice listening and, maybe, learn to laugh at life more.
      Thanks for sitting down to chat on this porch. (Enjoyed wandering your blog)

      Liked by 1 person

Always glad to hear from readers.

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