Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 27 > Page 32 - Kenneth MacKenzie, Northeast Margaree

Page 32 - Kenneth MacKenzie, Northeast Margaree

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/12/1 (1118 reads)
 

Kenneth MacKenzie Now we were talking about spearing salmon. There was a MacLean woman up there--she had two sons--and her husband was dead for a number of years, and they were having quite a struggle to get along. And they were peeling birchbark--that's what they used to use under shingles, was birchbark-- I think they used to get a cent a sheet for it in Cheticamp. So she. and the two boys went out and they peeled a lot of this bark, and they hid it in this old Wid? ow MacPherson's house--they didn't hide it, they stored it there. And they had it piled in probably the kitchen, I don't know. And the way they had it weighted down was boards on top and big rocks to keep it flat. And sometime through the sum? mer, the river filled up with salmon--they had a freshet and salmon came in. And my uncle Rod and a Murray fellow decided to go get some salmon, but they needed some? thing to make a light (for spearing salmon at night). And the only thing they could think of was this birchbark. They decided that if they go and take the bark and pay her for it, she won't have to carry it to Cheticamp. So they went up to this house, nice sunny afternoon, and they couldn't take a board off of that pile of birchbark. They said, when they'd touch it, the house would shake and you'd think there was a thousand horses galloping around outside. So they didn't take the bark. And they weren't stealing it. They were figuring on paying CONTINUED FROM INSIDE FRONT COVER her for it. But it was well protected--by something. They believed very much in witches, in the old country, the old fellows here talked. (Any talk of witches in the Margaree Val? ley?) No. Well, yes, there was an old wom? an up the Big Intervale here, and a bunch of them were watching her one day, and she threw a chip in the river and jumped on it and crossed over. But I never heard too much of that. Because my folks didn't be? lieve in that sort of thing. (But you wouldn't consider Widow MacPherson a witch?) Oh, no. They figured what she had, it was more a gift. It was a gift. And the same woman, I've heard my grand? mother say, there was a MacLeod-, a little kid--she used to take epileptic fits--and they got Widow MacPherson. And my grand? mother said that she was there with her-- she used to take somebody with her, you know, to drive a horse. And she went into this house and asked them where the kid fell for the first fall that she had. And she got a chicken--and I guess it had to be a black chicken--and she took the chick? en and put it on her hand and stroked it a few times, and whether she mesmerized it or hypnotized it--anyway, the chicken went to sleep. So she took the chicken and bur? ied it in the basement underneath where the kid fell. The child never had another fit. FOR SERVICE AND CONVENIENCE, SHOP "THE ONE PLACE. SYDNEY SHOPPING MALL "Your Community Shopping Centre Serving All of Cape Breton." Pick up ail your needs in any of tiiese fine stores. Agnew-Surpass Shoppers Drug Mart Chicken Chalet Metro Laundromat Metropolitan Store Bill's Pet Centre Jean Warehouse Bol-Mor Lanes Reitman's Smart-Set Munroe Barber Shop Sobeys Gals and Guys Beauty Salon Radio Shack Take-A-Break Oak Hall Men's Wear Big Dipper Ice Xream Globe Trotter Boutique Imperial Optical People's Jewellers Goodies Galore Fashions Fancy Mahar Shoes Sam The Record Man Econo Color Jean Depot Zellers Just For Fun Gulf Service Centre Bank of Nova Scotia Canadian Color Centres Luv'N Stuff Write Occasion Gentleman Jim's Trop Lounge Olympic Shoe Repair SYDNEY SHOPPING MALL PRINCE ST. "It's the Perfect Setting" Images of Cape Breton Warren Gordon A pictorial glimpse of Cape Breton and its people, seasoned with works by some of the island's finest writers. If not available in your area, you can or? der directly from GORDON PHOTOGRAPHIC, 360 Charlotte Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia. The price is $18.95. (32)
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