The Girl and the Prickly Green Bush - theHumm December 2019

The Girl and the Prickly Green Bush - theHumm December 2019

By Susie Osler

Once upon a time a young girl went out on a fine morning from the village of her parents, and grandparents, and the grandparents of her grandparents, and wandered into the rocky hills beyond the village, admiring the Sun and singing to the Chickadees. She was familiar with the nooks and crannies of the tumbling landscape, and she walked and walked, losing herself in the beauty of the late autumn landscape. But as morning became noon, and the afternoon grew longer, a mist seeped in and around her steps, cloaking her close in thick silvery gauze. Afternoon slid towards evening as she kept wandering this way and that, now unable to see far ahead. Finally she stopped, finding herself alone atop a big bald Rock, no longer able to make out the landmarks around her.

The mist clutched ever closer. She shivered, anxious and cold. How would she find her way back home?

The Girl sat down upon the bald Rock to try to make a plan. Would anyone hear if she howled or screamed for help? She shouted out mightily, but the louder she cried the heavier the mist seemed to become — muffling her sounds like a thick felt blanket. Feeling panic creeping in, she began singing to herself in an attempt to lift her spirits and fend off her fears.

A soft rustling to her side startled her. Out of the mist emerged feathered apparitions. Grouse, first Mr. and then Mrs., fluffed and strutted their way slowly over to the Girl’s side. “What, oh what, are you, creature? And what are you doing here in this land? We have not seen your kind before. But a sweet voice you have indeed!”

Taking heart that she now had some company, the Girl perked up. “I am a Girl. I walked out from my village this morning and am now lost and cold and can’t find my way home in this mist.”

“Well, Girl”, said Mr. Grouse, “perhaps we could all make some music together to pass the time until morning comes. Your lovely voice will complement our beats nicely!” And so, the three of them set about singing and thrumming and prancing around together in the thick, still, misty darkness.

But eventually, as Cold dropped down for the night to rest in his bed on the bald Rock, the Girl began to shiver. “Mr and Mrs. Grouse”, she said, “I have no feathers to keep me warm and cannot sleep out on this rock all night long or Cold will seep into my bones. What shall I do?”

“Come,” said Mrs. Grouse. “There is room for us all under the prickly green bushes where we rest each night. It will be a fine place for you to sleep until the Sun rises again.” And so, one by one, the Grouses carefully led the way down the face of the bald Rock to a swale. “This Bush will keep you covered from the mist and the cold. Her prickles will ward off the night creatures that lurk about, and the soft mattress of moss underneath her boughs will keep your bones from the cold Rock.” And with that, they all nestled down into the moss, under the protective boughs of the prickly green Bush — the Grouses curling around the Girl, fluffing their downy feathers to keep her warm for the night.

And the Girl fell into a deep sleep. And dreamed. She dreamed of a great wall of ice that grew and grew until it began to slide across the Land, scouring and scaring away everything that had adorned it. And when at last many thousands of moons had passed, the great wall of ice retreated, leaving in its wake a land of beaten, barren rock, rubble and water. The Rock, lonely and naked, rumbled out a moan that reverberated around the earth; calling to the winged beings, begging them to return with their songs and colours to help him paint the landscape back into being. And slowly they came, bearing gifts of spores, berries and seeds that they spilled onto Rock’s ancient face, where they settled into his wrinkles and began to bring colour back to his grey face again.

The Girl awoke with a start to Raven croaking from a pine branch that stretched above her hideaway. Enchanted by his sounds the Girl took her leave from the Grouses, thanking them for their warm company as she rolled out from under their wings, and from under the prickly green bush, into the bright morning sun.

Raven croaked, and chuckled, and gurgled. The Girl laughed, saying “Raven are you hungry? Your gurgle sounds like my belly!” Looking around for something to soften her hunger, she noticed a clutch of small blue berries on the branches of the prickly green Bush. “Oh Bush, would you mind if I took some of your berries to eat? I am lost, I have no food, and I am so very hungry.”

The branches swayed and nodded, reaching out to her and tickling her hand with their prickly green tips. “Yes, Girl, you may. But take only the darkest berries as they have had time to mature and are the sweetest. They will keep you grounded. Be careful to avoid my pointy needles though! They are prickly but they do protect my berries from greedy mouths. And, Girl… perhaps you could return the favour by taking a few berries from each of us, to drop into the wrinkles of Rock’s face as you go along your journey?” The Girl agreed, thanked the Bush, and picked a pocket full of dark blue berries.

“Here you go Raven!” she offered, placing the berries on the rock close to her. “If you are hungry, please share these lovely berries with me. If you come down for some breakfast, I can admire your beautiful iridescent cloak and listen to your wild voice.”

Raven cocked his head then preened a wing… looked down at the Girl… then preened his other wing… and then to the Girl’s surprise, down Raven came.

Hopping forward, with one eye on her and the other on the berries, Raven plucked one and then another from the rock and swallowed them down his hatch with a shiver of neck feathers. “Raven, I am lost.” said the Girl. “Can you, with your great perspective, tell me which way to turn to set me on my path once again?”

“I am sorry Girl, but I hear my mate calling me and I must join her. But take heart, you are not lost. Your feet are at home on Rock like my wings are at home in Air. Trust them to find your true home.” And with that Raven swallowed a berry and croaked his way off into the sky until he was a distant speck.

The Girl began to eat the berries. They were pungent, spicy and just sweet enough to give her a bit of energy. Trusting her feet as Raven had advised she began to walk, moving from bush to bush, sustained by their berries. Along the way, she dropped to the ground and placed little berries into the wrinkles of old Rock’s face as she’d promised the prickly green Bush. Gradually, her walking slowed, and slowed some more. And in time, her toes grew long and woody, spreading ever so slowly across the rocky land; and her arms became prickly green branches that protected families of Grouse, colonies of Moss, and the Rock itself from harsh weather. And over the years, in her weaving wake, the animals and trees and plants and birds grew up and thrived. And this is how Juniper found her way home.


Happy Local Holidays! - theHumm December 2019

By Kris and Rob Riendeau

Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. A healthy local economy is an essential component to a healthy community.

It is with this in mi......


Miriam Mas — Embodying theSpirit of Christmas - theHumm December 2019

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

It has taken both luck and pluck (as in “spirited and determined courage”) for artist Miriam Mas to reach this point in her life. This gifted self-taught artist is reaping the well-got gains of a decidedly anti-Grinch-like life, and it really brightens this reporter’s spirits at a time when a dose of cheer is particularly welcome. (We at theHumm are quite concerned regarding the trending rumour that a certain mean, green grump has been spotted lurking around Missis......


Funny Lady
Cabaret and Comedy Workshop Coming at You!
- theHumm December 2019

It’s time for a Cabaret my friends! Comedian and award-winning clown Rachelle Elie is back in Almonte to host another fabulous event — and this time it’s a Cabaret! The Almost New Years Rag Bag Cabaret will be held on Saturday, December 28 at 8pm at the lovely Almonte Old Town Hall. This one will be hosted by Rachelle’s alter ego “Susan”, and will feature comedian Cathy Boyd, burlesque trio The Rougettes, international touring musician David Celia and local storyteller Daniel K. L.......


Perth Community Christmas Day Dinner - theHumm December 2019

By — Bill Lowe

Christmas isn’t what it used to be.

Humbug to that! It is at the annual Perth Community Christmas Day Dinner at Code’s Mill in downtown Perth.

During the dinner’s almost 30-year history, celebrating Christmas has morphed from pot-luck with a few friends to a tradition that welcomes the whole community. Last year we served more than 320 dinners in the Banquet Hall and delivered 120 more to those who couldn’t join us.

This is a real community event — funded and organ......


Dates to Save in Perth (and Beyond!) - theHumm December 2019

Grab your holiday calendar and a red or green pen, and make room for some or all of these upcoming events in Perth.

On Sunday, December 15, Artizen Kombucha will be holding a Festive Kombucha Workshop at their brewery at 12 Gore Street East. They will wear holiday sweaters, have sweet treats and a tea ceremony, and then delve into kombucha making with the participants. You can register and find out more at


Holiday Happiness in Mississippi Mills! - theHumm December 2019

By Miss Mills

Almonte and Pakenham really sparkle in December — and not just from twinkly festive lights. It’s as if they pour all of their small-town heart and soul into filling the month with ways for friends and families to enjoy being together. Here are just some of the events that lead up to the holidays…

On Friday, December 6, you can share warm fuzzy feelings with a few thousand neighbours and friends at Light Up the Night — taking place from 7–10pm in downtown Almonte. Head down to Mill Street and......


Ennis Sisters Setto Return to Perth - theHumm December 2019

With the holiday season on its way, one of the area’s favourite Christmas traditions is set to return to Perth.

On Friday, December 13, Newfoundland’s Juno award-winning Ennis Sisters will take the stage as part of their annual Christmas tour. The sisters, Maureen, Karen and Teresa, deliver one of the finest family Christmas shows in the country and this show is sure to once again be a sell-out.

The trio combine original songs, holiday classics, humorous recitations and Iri......


A Puppy for Christmas - theHumm December 2019

By Glenda Jones

“Ah”, you think, “she’s going to write about getting a puppy from Santa, how cute it was with its little red bow, how it played in the gift wrap, and snuggled with the toys.” No, she’s not!

We are living in chaos most of the time, with doggy toys scattered everywhere, and no end in sight for any sort of home décor that resembles House and Garden. Not only that, little Miss Diva is an escape artist whose idea of spending time in her crate consists of working the zipper loose and getting ou......


One Artful Weekend… - theHumm December 2019

If you take a look at the calendar spread in this issue, you may find it a wee bit difficult to make out all of the listings on December 6, 7 and 8. There is so much going on that we thought we would include a round-up of some of the many art shows and tours taking place that weekend. Here they be!

The West Carleton Arts Society’s $100 and Under Show and Sale brings together more than 25 local artists and artisans at St. Paul’s United Church in Carp, from Friday, December......


Museums, Markets & Music in Smiths Falls - theHumm December 2019

By John Pigeau

December is the time of year for goodwill, good cheer and good books, delicious hot chocolate and brisk walks in the wintery air — and maybe some Christmas spirit too. It’s also the only month when it’s ostensibly acceptable to put reindeer antlers on your dog, or to adorn your cat in a Santa hat and scarf. There is, indeed, much merriment to be had. Toasts to be rendered. Eggnog to be glugged. Snow angels to be made. And lots and lots of entertaining and festive things to see and do aroun......


Winter is Coming to the Station Theatre - theHumm December 2019

The Station Theatre is proud to welcome Lynn Miles for the final concert of their 2019 music series. This Canadian musician is bringing her Winter concert, along with the Crusty Mittens String Quartet. Check her out at .

Lynn Miles was born in Cowansville, Quebec to a father who was a harmonica player and jazz fan and a mother who listened to opera and country music. Miles learned to play the violin, guitar, piano ......


Preserving Wilderness for Today and the Future - theHumm December 2019

By — Carolyn Piche

At the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, we believe that wilderness in our region is precious and that its protection is essential to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Thanks to t......


Solve the Mystery! Save Christmas! - theHumm December 2019

By — Heather Atkinson

So I’ve seen the November 24 rehearsal of Who Stole Christmas from Mississippi Mills and I can tell you this: Theodor Robert Geisel will chuckle in his grave to think we will see his creatio......


Dear Editor,
- theHumm December 2019

Readers Write

What a joy to read the tribute to Reva Dolgoy by the Seiler sisters in the last issue of the Humm. In an age and under a provincial government which believes that education mea......


Ageless Migration Fund - theHumm December 2019

Building on the success of the Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement (CARR) project, the Perth and District Community Foundation (PDCF), has established the Ageless Migration Fund, in coope......


Pudding the Spirit into the Holidays - theHumm December 2019

By Sebastian Weetabix

Weetabix, always vigilant in matters of food, recently learned of a threat to Mississippi Mills’ holiday food supplies. Additional research and some original development work in the deservedly ob......


Spirit Seeds
A Celebration of Indigenous Beadwork
- theHumm December 2019

By — Maureen Korp is a writer, historian and lecturer

Long before the Scots, French and English fur traders arrived in the St. Lawrence, Great Lakes and Hudson Bay areas, the Eastern Woodlands women of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples were ......


’Tis the Season! - theHumm December 2019

By Amanda Robinson

Over the past several months there have been many changes at the Lanark Highlands Public Library. We have several new staff members, including a new CEO, and with that a number of new development......


David Taylor, Quilter
“Love What You Do and Be Willing to Learn”
- theHumm December 2019

By — Sally Smith

David Taylor is a quilter, just a quilter. That’s what he calls himself… but when you look at his work and talk to those who learn from him, it’s clear he’s not “just a quilter.”

He’s fun, sh......


The Girl and the Prickly Green Bush - theHumm December 2019

By Susie Osler

Once upon a time a young girl went out on a fine morning from the village of her parents, and grandparents, and the grandparents of her grandparents, and wandered into the rocky hills beyond the ......


Giving the Gift of Real Estate
Buy Wild Land for your Friends and Relatives!
- theHumm December 2019

By — Cathy Keddy

Starting to think about Christmas shopping? This year keep it simple — give the gift of life. Be the first person to give your friend or family member a home for a wild turtle, frog or songbird!



Kanata Choral Society
Sing, My Soul of Christmas
- theHumm December 2019

The title of the upcoming Christmas concert by the Kanata Choral Society was influenced by the major work that was chosen for this performance; namely The Magnificat by Francesco Durante (1684-17......


CFUW Heritage Perth Christmas House Tour - theHumm December 2019

Located at 177 Allan’s Mill Road, the beautiful house above is a thoroughly modern home in a heritage setting. Next to the intriguing “ghost town” of Allan’s Mill, the home is surrounded by a bea......


A Dog’s Life… - theHumm December 2019

By Angie Arendt

No matter the season, most every evening after dinner you’ll ?nd Peter and me hunched over PJ and Ellie like orangutans, patiently picking sharp brown burrs and little bits of sticks out of their......


Celtic Spark in Arnprior - theHumm December 2019

By — Karen DeLucca

What can we give you in this busy season? How about a pause to really relax. An evening with no pressure, no stress, no expectations. Just come and enjoy a beautiful Yuletide concert with us, to ce......


Anniversary Celebration at Sivarulrasa Gallery - theHumm December 2019

Sivarulrasa Gallery is celebrating an important milestone in Almonte with an incredible 5th Anniversary Show that runs until December 29. The show was installed over a period of six days and f......


Fun Folkus Facts - theHumm December 2019

By — Sandy Irvin

Almonte’s Folkus Concert Series presents four shows a season, and we’re proud to be heading into our 19th year of great music. If you buy a season’s pass, you get all four shows for the price of ......


Nine Lessons & Carols - theHumm December 2019

By — Hilary Barrett

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. All are welcome to join us at St. James the Apostle Anglican Church in Perth on Sunday, December ......


Join Us!
AGH Patient & Family Advisory Committee Seeks Members
- theHumm December 2019

Bonnie Lowry Bagshaw was born and raised in the local area and likes to give back to the community. As the first Chair of Almonte General Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), ......


New Name for Hospice
Hub Hospice Palliative Care
Becomes Home Hospice North Lanark
- theHumm December 2019

We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where there is still a strong tradition of neighbours looking out for each other. One example of that tradition began in early 2012, when members o......


Splash’N Boots:Heart for the Holidays - theHumm December 2019

It’s the most yellow and blue time of the year — and it’s time for the third annual Splash’N Boots BIG yellow and blue holiday show: JINGLE BOOTS — The Big Heart Holiday Show!

This year, this......


CP Band’s 9th Annual Food Bank Fundraiser - theHumm December 2019

For the ninth consecutive year, the Carleton Place and District Community Band will give a Christmas gift to the community. The Band will present “Sing-in” the Season on Sunday, December 8 a......


New Jewel’s Store in Carleton Place
Funding Big Brothers Big Sisters
- theHumm December 2019

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark Country recently opened their third Jewel’s Gently Used Clothing Store — this one in Carleton Place.

Jewel’s offers modestly priced, gently used clothi......