The Healer

“Dad’s pretty sick. When will he get better?” Audrey asked forlornly.

“Soon enough, if we use some herbs.” Her mother proclaimed.

“Herbs? Doesn’t he need medicine?” Audrey asked.

“My dear, plants are medicine.” her mother stated emphatically

“They are?" Audrey looked up at her mother, quizzically.

“Yes, I’ll tell you how our people started using plants and herbs as medicine wile I make some rat root tea for you dad.

“One day, many years ago, The Chief fell ill. The village was very worried, none of them had ever seen anyone this sick. They were worried he wouldn’t make it through.

The Chief’s wife wouldn’t let him go, she tried everything she could think of to nurse him back to health. But nothing worked, he continued to get worse as the days passed by.

As the Chief’s Wife tried her hardest to help her husband, an old lady entered the village. No one had seen her before, but as they are custom to, the villagers treated her with hospitality. The old woman was very thankful for food and water as she was very tired from her travels. She left her old village because her husband had died of old age and she wanted to travel.

Although the old woman was happy to be treated so kindly, she couldn’t help but notice that the villagers seemed morose. She asked them why they weren’t happy and they told her the grim news.

Upon hearing about The Chief’s condition, the old woman insisted on seeing him, she believed that she could help him. The villagers reluctantly agreed.

The Chief’s wife was not happy that a stranger was brought to her husband, he did not have the strength for company. She was going to tell the old woman to leave when the old woman told her she could help him. The old woman’s eyes held something. The Chief’s Wife didn’t know what but she knew she could trust this woman. The Chief’s Wife allowed the old woman to enter her home. The old woman knelt by The Chief and held his hand. She closed her eyes for a long time and then slowly opened them. The old woman said she knew what she needed and left.

An entire day passed before the old woman came back, the villagers were very relieved, they all began to rely on this woman to heal their Chief.

The old woman entered The Chief’s home looking very tired, but she worked very quickly putting water over a fire to boil and grinding herbs. When the water began to boil, the old woman picked up a cup and placed her ground up herbs in there, followed by the water. She placed the cup to The Chief’s lips and told him to drink the tea. The Chief drank the tea and everyone waited, looking at The Chief to see if the tea worked. The old woman told everyone to go away for a day, the tea needed time to work, and then the old woman laid on the ground and fell asleep.

When the old woman woke up the next day, she noticed something different. The Chief was sitting up in his bed and laughing with his wife. He looked at the old woman and thanked her. His Wife looked at the old woman with a face full of joy. The old woman instructed The Chief to continue drinking the tea until he felt like himself again. She was about to leave the village when The Chiefs Wife approached her and asked her to stay. The Chief’s Wife told her that the village needed a healer. The old Woman looked into the Chief’s Wife’s eyes and agreed. The Chief’s Wife was elated. Her village had a healer and her husband was going to live.”

“Did the old woman give the Chief rat root?” Audrey asked.

“Some people believe she did.” Said her mother.

“So, dad will get better for sure?”

“Of course, my dear.”

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