The Crooked Stick
from Things To See In Springtime
Once upon a time there was a girl who was very anxious to know what sort of a husband she should get; so, of course, she went to the old wood-witch.
The witch asked a few questions, then said to the girl: "You walk straight through that woods, turn neither to right nor left, and never turn back an inch, and pick me out a straight stick, the straighter the better; but pick only one, and bring it back."
So the girl set out. Soon she saw a fine-looking stick close at hand; but it had a slight blemish near one end, so she said: "No; I can do better than that." Then she saw another that was perfect but for a little curve in the middle, so she passed it by.
Thus she went, seeing many that were nearly perfect; but walking on, seeking one better, till she was quite through the woods. Then she realized her chances were nearly gone; so she had to take the only stick she could find, a very crooked one indeed, and brought it to the witch, saying that she "could have got a much better one had she been more easily satisfied at the beginning."
The witch took the stick, waved it at the girl and said: "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.
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