crocodile tears (the crone)

Everybody came to her for advice and succour. She held them in her flabby, short arms and her old skin caught and held their tears until she weighed enough to submerge in her pond again.
She heard tales of sorrow and fear, of marital trouble and sexual strife, of fertility anxst and new baby blues with equal aplomb. They thought she was a kind old lady, an elder of the village.
What they didn’t know would fill a book. But this is what it boiled down to…
She was a horrid gossip! She was smart enough not to let the villagers hear her regurgitation of their intimacies. Of how she mocked their feelings and the tears it took for her to sink deeper into her favourite waters.
They didn’t know that she often masturbated after their visits, or invited her lover to enjoy her energies with her.
They had no clue that she had a group of ladies who were called to visit whenever she had gathered a mock show together for their guffaws and hoots.
Ladies she knew could never get the tale or context right enough that they could pass the story along. So her secret was safe with them.
It was kept from all but the village shaman who was getting angrier with each outrageous act of hers.
The shaman finally broke and cast a spell on her so her true personality showed every time she came near the villagers.
Her hair turned into stringy worms. Her skin became scaly and hard. Her arms no longer comforted, they repulsed at each touch.
The crone soon noticed the effects of the spell and knew who could have done this. She went to the shaman and asked what she had done to offend and how she could fix this. When she was told, she sat down and thought it thru.
She tempered her show by not including the villagers’ names or anything that would identify them. Her hair returned to it’s finery. She stopped inviting her lover over after the sexual tales and her skin became more supple again. Her words actually comforted and her ears listened rather than gathering tales for gossip. And her arms started to comfort again.
The shaman was pleased with her progress and warned her that this lesson could be taught again if she ever lost the point of it.
She bowed her head and went back to her pond to ruminate about what her behavour could have cost her. And she became what the villagers had always thought she was, an elder with a good heart.

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