Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 33 - 4 Stories from the New Book by Helen Creighton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (1751 reads)
 

4 Stories from the New Book by Helen Creighton- A Folk Tale Journey THROUGH THE MARITIMES Edited with an Introduction by Ronald Caplan and Michael Taft Helen Creighton's folk tales have never before been gathered in book form. Breton Books is honoured to be the publisher of this major cultu? ral event. Many readers will be familiar with her folk song collections and the stories in Bluenose Ghosts and Bluenose Magic. This new book, Helen Creighton's Folk Tale Journey, is made up of stories in the world folk tale tradition • all of them found right in the Maritimes. These are the folk tales from Helen Creighton's life journey through the Maritime Provinces. Helen serves as our guide, introducing us to the storytellers, setting the scene of the telling • and then she lets the per? son tell It as they told it to her. The feel of the kitchen and the fish shed still cling to these stories. To celebrate this new publication, here are four of the 74 tales in A Folk Tale Journey • a Maritime treasure. Rory's Dream of Hell AS TOLD BY RORY MacKINNON, SUGAR LOAF, CAPE BRETON WELL, ONE TIME LONG AGO, just about I 'spose twenty- eight years ago, maybe more, my brother died. His name was Donald. He was dead just a month. I seen him coming to me. "Hello, Rory." I took a look, and the clothes that went on him • I put the clothes on him • and they was full of burnt spots. I said, "Where you were this length of time?" "Oh," he says, "I was in hell for one month, I got out. I'm free now. I'm in heaven now. "Well," he says, "do you want to see hell?" "Well," I says, "I don't know if I'm going to see hell or not." I says, "I don't want to go to hell, to see hell, I'd be burnt." "No," he says, "you'd never find the heat, and you'd see lots of people from your own country there that is in hell." "All right." I went with him, so we started walking, going here and there and after a lit? de while we (followed) a big rough road. I see the sparks of fire, and the big moimtain of fire, and a big fence around hell and every rod of iron was five feet deep. Well then, I went in, me and Donelly, and there was a big fieldof ice, an ocean of ice, and there were about a million women froze down in the ice. One was trying to work her head back and forth; her hair was froze to the ice. I went and cut her hair out of the ice. "Thank God," she says, "I've got my head, worked back and forth," she says, "I'm here now," she says, "fifty years, frozen in the ice. That's the punishment given to me when I died," she says, "right to the ice." All right, we passed through, and there was a big boiler, a lake, boiling up, and there was a devil with a pitchfork, and every? body who had died, he would stick the pitchfork in and drive him' • the fellow who had died to go to hell, he would put him in the lake. Just clipping up their toes like that in the lake, and the noise when they come up from the lake. Poor people. Here in another place, here was Big John. He was living then alright. But here he was. Would it be the sweat pouring off him? Open a kind of door. Every man was bad enough, he'd open the door for him. Big Johnny. "I don't think I know • this is a queer place for you to be," I said. "I know a bad man you were when you were up at the Lower End Cove jumping around and cursing, and this is your spot in hell." I told him. Told him right to his face, right in hell. "Well," he says, "I'm here," he says, "for a lifetime." "I know you are," I says. Well that was good enough. I went over to another place. Here was Donald in another place, putting fire underneath a big heater, with a poke. Poking the fire out and in. I told him, "Donelly, you've got a bad job." "Well," he says, "it's my job for a lifetime." "I told you that," I says, "when you come over for the old bucket that is the place you were going to land, was in hell." I told MuffUr Man 93 King St., North Sydney EXPANDED 3ERVIOE3! • Exhaust • Brakes • Struts • Shocks • Springs • Michelln and Brunswick Tires • Wheel Balancing (Life Time Warranty) Free Estimates 794-750(L
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