Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Important Announcement and Mary Dowser's Report from the Yucatan

The ever fragrant Mary Dowser has written to TVFP, but first we have an important announcement! After prolonged negotiations with Buckingham Palace TVFP has secured the Canadian rights to Queen Victoria's new column, Health & Beauty Tips for the Poor and the Irish. The the old girl's column will, we hope, become a regular feature, along with Charles the Silverback Gorilla's City Hall: the Inside Poop! As well coming soon, Charles interviews City of Toronto Councillor George Mammolliti's Brain!

For Posts involving the awesomely odoriferous Mary Dowser please see:

Ted's Kitchen 6/9/11
The Parkdale Liberation Front 7/3/11
The PLF: Commander Annie 7/10/11
The PLF: Asst Commander Tess 7/17/11
Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Parkdale Part I 7/31/11
Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Parkdale Part II 8/7/11
Giorgio Mammolliti's Brain 8/18/11
The Parkdale Liberation Front Lonely Hearts Club 9/4/11
Changes at The View 9/18/11

Mary Dowser writes to us from the Yucatan:

This is my dream from the last night. I wrote it down half asleep with the scent of the jaguar still upon me. My hand shook as I wrote and I have had difficulty deciphering the scrawl and entering it into the laptop computer. The child came to me in the dream. She was an old woman. Behind her were the smoldering remains of the conflagration that had taken away her City, the City of the Saint. She began to tell me her story. I am Marie Driscoll from County Cork. She was speaking in Gaelic, but somehow I understood. She was a ghostly figure, tiny, ephemeral, a faded yellow rose behind her left ear. I felt my blood run cold.

     Marie Driscoll was my name when I came out of Ireland in 1847. I came out of Cork on the coffin ship Ramses and we were almost two months crossing the ocean after some distress during a storm and then arrived in Canada and anchored off a place called Partridge Island which was close to land and a great city that was called Saint John and there by the City of the Saint we were to undergo the quarantine. I did not know whether I would live or die but my father and three brothers were dead before we were halfway across the ocean and my two sisters were dead of the fever after the first week in quarantine. There was just my Ma and me. Before that I lived near the village of Knockgraffon and grew up in sight of the great Motte that is like a hill and not mountain and made by the hands of men although who I cannot say and I was never told. I would not have come to the coffin ship Ramses but my mother hid me by the old wall that went back to the English who first enslaved us or so I was told. My father was after selling me to one of the Lord’s men as I have been cursed with uncommon beauty such was rarely seen in the village or in the pitiful hovels of mud where we lived our lives such as they were. Things were going poorly with us then, though not as bad as elsewhere I was told as we were not starving though there was blight again on the potatoes and we had no livestock to kill as our pig was stolen by a Blackfeet man my father said and the other was taken to pay the Lord’s taxes and we had but a few chickens and there was no work to be had on the roads that went nowhere and some if not all of us would starve before winter’s end and so to raise money I was to be sold to the Lord’s man. But my mother would not have it and she said we would take the Lord’s offer of passage and land and go away and so my mother brought me to the wall and I was hidden and I was a young girl and had just begun to leak blood out of the gash between my legs. As the moon rose over the Motte I saw the Manson brothers come out along the wall and it was strange to see them for they had been dead two years for they were sons of Blackfeet and I was told it was the sons of the Whiteboys and Levellers that killed them and others but I do not know for sure. I might have been afraid for I had never seen the dead before or the Aes Sidhe that are said to inhabit the Motte and other places, but I was not afraid because I knew the boys when they were alive and they never meant me any harm. They asked me to sing for them to ease the loneliness of the grave and I said I could not sing aloud for fear of being discovered but I would sing for them in my heart if I could. And so I did and sang for the two dead boys the few songs that I knew and it seemed to please them. I sang on and on and as I did other children came out of the graveyard and the graveyards for miles around and many of them I knew had died of the starvation and they were sad to look upon as I remember them them walking about the land as skeletons before ever they were dead and so I sang and soon there were many gathered around my hiding place and I sang to them in my heart. It was a cold night and I was hidden for another day and another night before my mother convinced my father to come to this land and I was not frightened nor truly cold because I had the dead children of Ireland to comfort me.

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