“From her small balcony, the witch watched her world go by.”
That is what the children of the neighborhood called her and yes, even some of their parents. Was she a witch? No, she was curandera. (kur'-an-der'a) A curandera is a healer, NOT a witch.
Every week Maria goes to the hills outside of town and chooses her medicinal plants carefully. Her grandmother had taught her about plants. She knew very well which plant helps which ailments. Some of her medicinal plants she grew herself, but others she had to go to the hills and find.
Mrs. Caringer came to her breaking point of frustration. She wanted to get pregnant and it just wasn't happening for her. Finally, out of frustration, she came to see Maria. Maria made her a delicious tea and gave her some of the herbs to take home with her, telling her to continue drinking this tea until “the seed was planted.” Two months later, Mrs. Caringer was pregnant. Now, she and Maria are the best of friends and her neighborhood accepts her lovingly as a “cuindera” and not a witch.
Thank you to Barbara Beacham for providing us with the prompt photo, the first sentence of our stories, and approximately 150 words with which we are to build our stories with. She is the kind host of Mondays Finish the Story challenge. I wish her complete healing from her cancer as she embarks upon her treatment journey. (Many hugs and well wishes Barb!) And thank you for hosting this challenge.
My story is based on “curanderas” of the southwest, in particular, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. There is a wonderful book about curanderas titled, “Bless Me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya (a New Mexico native). I highly recommend reading this wonderful book.
Mondays Finish the Story Challenge is open to all who would like to participate. To learn more about this challenge and/or to join in, click here.
To read all the fantastic stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below: