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In a far off land, east of the sun and west of the moon, a whiney old crone named Drizella

sits outside the golden gates of the Queen’s Palace, wailing over fate’s misfortune. Beautiful in her youth (according to her mother) she’d dreamed of slipping her foot into the glass slipper, marrying the prince and living happily ever after, raising perfect children, with a castle full of nannies to make sure, and of course wearing the finest of clothes.

But, alas, the slipper had been too short, and her foot too long. Her one consolation was that neither had the shoe fit her sister—that is her real sister.

The winey crone snivels, wipes her nose on the sleeve of her ragged garment and bemoans the cruelty of years. Whence came all the wrinkles and this thin mousey gray hair? Not to mention her ever-enlarging nose and ears, and the few scraggly hairs on her chin. Even the ‘widow-maker’ treats her unfairly, refusing to return her tiny waist regardless of how tight she pulls the laces. Her back aches. Her sister never calls and her sons come around no longer—the ungrateful lot.

One beautiful sunny day in the midst of her whining, an even older crone appears, a glow on her face and a spring in her step, her voice pleasant, melodic, even. “Why do you whine, my dear sister? Do you not know this is the best years of your life? Too bad you did not well prepare yourself, else your step would spring and your voice would sing.”

“Give me a break,” the whiney old crone exclaims. “What’s so great about getting old, ugly and feeble? My back hurts, no one calls or comes to visit, and should I venture out, men pass me by as if unseen.” Whine, whine, whine.

“It is because you spend your day in front of the mirror that you whine, my dear. For mirrors only reflect the outward you, not giving chance for inward reflection. You give insult to the name of crone. For a true crone does not whine. Instead, she fills her days with wisdom learned over the years, with purpose, humor, courage, compassion for others, and vitality.”

“Vitality?” the whiney crone spat. “I fight to get out of bed every morning. How in the queen’s name am I to find vitality?”

“It takes years of work, my dear, and you are way behind. You’ve wasted your years regretting each one. You fail to feel empathy or compassion, or to use your energy and power wisely. As a consequence of such, you have not earned the joy a wise crone discovers with the passing years.”

“Okay, smarty pants. You know so much. Tell me what you did that is so different than me. For you, too, longed to wear the glass slipper and failed. You, too, have aged, yet I see young men here at your feet, eager to learn what you know. Why is that—tell me, old crone.”

“Dry your eyes, wipe your nose, and lend me your ear.”

The whiney crone did just that.


 ***The story of the crone continues next Wednesday!        

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautifully said, Sylvia! Love it. 🙂

    July 26, 2011
  2. YEAH! Some of my favorite books are Terry Pratchett’s books about the witches of Discworld, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and their current young trainee. They really know the power of the crone, although they call themselves “The maiden, the mother and … the other one.” lol!

    I heard that Margaret Mead was always surrounded by young people because she was active and knowledgeable and willing to share what she’d learned.

    Go,crones! (And … cronesters? What’s a male crone?) I mean, besides Sean Connery?

    July 27, 2011
    • Yeah, but the word crone has a real history about it–and I’m for turning society’s bad image of being one, flipped around.

      July 27, 2011
  3. Well, I, for one of many, am waiting on the next installment.

    Love it, Sylvia.

    July 27, 2011
  4. I love it, Sylvia. Says so much with so much wit and humor.

    July 27, 2011
  5. Thanks, you beautiful crones! And yes, more good stuff is coming next week!!! and likely the next!!

    July 27, 2011
  6. Being a future crone myself, though some would say I’m showing good practice at it already, I love this story. Actually in pagan beliefs, of which I’m a huge fan, the crone is a necessary and vital part of the trifecta of women. The young girl, the mother, and the crone are what comprise all of womanhood.

    I say, cheers to the Crone! Long May She Reign!

    July 27, 2011
  7. Hey, girlfriend, I’m there and have been for a good while! And its the best years of my life. Love it! Wear the title proudly. Looking forward to next week’s post when Drizilla learns the secrets–she’s got a little make u to do–but at least she’ll learn how she missed it and what’s lacking!

    July 27, 2011

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