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Witches Washing.
I was perusing this weird internet the other day and found an odd story that relates to my childhood and my locality.
I suppose many of us here on Rogue Nation have seen these in their life, but it always fascinates me that someone
created a rational reason -yet magical, reason for what they are.

Quote:Witches Washing.

'Just the other day, while out and about, I happened to notice some children on their was to school.
They were happily bouncing in the little puddles left after a recent shower, naturally much to the disapproval of their
parents. Thus it ever was!

Of course I could not help but to be reminded of my own childhood, and those simpler days when there was no greater
joy than coming out after the rain had stopped and playing in puddles. However besides happy memories of splashing
about on pavements and gutters, and of course, less happy remembrances of being scolded later for being dripping wet
and covered in muddy water, I did also recall a curious little fragment of folklore from those now distant times. 

For when I was growing in in the North-east of England, there was a little bit of lore associated with puddles.
Now you don't see this quite as often these days in these more economical and green times, but back then it was not
uncommon to find puddles brimming with strange rainbows, born of little spills and drips of oil and petrol from cars.

Now even as little kids soon found out how these colourful puddles were formed, however I remember vividly also hearing
that they were the result of witches washing in the puddles. Whether they are doing their laundry or personal ablutions was
never made entirely clear to me, but either way, it was firmly embedded in the lore of my playground at least.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=5931]
Illustration from The Witch Next Door by Norman Bridwell.

And these puddles were always referred to as "witches' washing", and it was considered to be remarkable to find some on
your path. Quite in what way it was remarkable never quite clear, and was a matter of debate. For some claimed it was good
luck to find a puddle of witches' washing, but others reckons it was a bad sign as it showed wicked hags were abroad nearby.

Either way however, the practical upshot of this little piece of modern folklore was that something ordinary and mundane was
transformed into a little splash of magic on the pavements. 

However despite trawling assorted books on folklore and consulting the ever-expanding hive-mind that is the internet, this little
tradition appears to have been somewhat localised, with only a report of it being alternatively called "fairies' washing" coming
from a fellow North-easterner.
As it is, I suspect there might be a good reason why this bit of puddle lore is perhaps found only in one area of the North East
of England, however that's a story for next time... '

Do you have any interesting folklore from your area that you'd like to tell us?

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