… “then this is your fortune; through the woods and through the woods and out with a crooked stick. If you were less hard to please, you would have better luck; but you will pass many a good man by, and come out with a crooked stick.”
Maybe some of our Woodcraft girls can find an initiation in this. Put it just as the witch did it, but let it be considered a success if the stick is two feet long and nowhere half an inch out of true line. Let me add a Woodcraft proverb which should also have its mead of comfort — The Great Spirit can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.
The Animal Dance of Nana-bo-jou
For this we need a Nana-bo-jou; that is, a grown-up who can drum and sing. He has a dnun and dnunstick, and a straw or paper club; also two goblins, these are good-sized boys or girls wearing ugly masks, or at least black hoods with two eyeholes, made as hideous as possible; and any number of children, from three or four up, for animals. If each has the marks, colours, etc., of some bird or beast, so much the better.
First, Nana-bo-jou is seen chasing the children around the outside of the circle, trying to catch one to eat; but failing, thinks he’ll try a trick and he says: “Stop, stop, my brothers. Why should we quarrel? Come, let’s hold a council together and I will teach you a new dance.”
The animals whisper together and the Coyote comes forward, barks, then says: “Nana-bo-jou, I am the Coyote. The animals say that they will come to council if you will really make peace and play no tricks.”