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Herby the Herbalist

The Herbalist

Copyright James Middleton 20 th February 1996

Once upon a time there was a very small herbalist who was wizened with time and age past.

He lived in a shoe as he was small and inconspicuous so no one bothered him. Every day or night he would wander out loud to the woods to seek fresh herbs and potions which he would mix in his thimble.

He held surgeries only on Sundays, after he had prepared all his mixtures, and the snails and slugs, snakes, ants and other crawly creatures would come for their healing. They would bring their young, old, sick and infirm with them.

It would start very early in the morning and go on 'till late at night, by which time he would be exhausted and the waiting room bench would have been shined to a mirror polish after all those bottoms had sat and shuffled while waiting.

Because he was well hidden, few creatures of the air sought him out. One day a beautiful dove came his way, landed by his shoe and knocked on the small matchbox door.

'I only hold surgeries on Sundays, go away!' said the little old herbalist. 'Please, please help me' said the dove.

When the dove came in and sat down, it was hard to see what was wrong. The dove had flown here all right, seemed to be sitting O.K., and spoke fancy and well.

'What's the trouble?' said herby.

'I'm not sure' said dove. 'I was flying along as usual to my home, and my homing device seemed to stop working. I ended up flying round in a circle for three hours, had to land and ask hedgehog the way. I thought I'd come straight here.'

'Well you've done the right thing' said herby, who had never seen such a wonderful and wondrous creature 'coz he wasn't in the habit of seeing flying animals.

'I'll sort you out.' 'What you need to do is follow that North star, let the Moon guide you, until you find someone who seems to recognise you, like I do, for what you are.'

'When you've found that individual they will have the answer that you have inside you anyway. You will recognise one of your own, like yourself.'

With a happy deep sigh, the dove said its' greeting of good-bye, and made its' way into the wilderness, with a smile inside its' heart. Beating its' wings in the timeless rhythm of solid knowledge and sure comfort.

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