Quilt Stories

My journey, told through quilts, in chronological order


The wolf is a constant image in my work.

Lupus is Latin for wolf.  I have lived with Lupus for more than 30 years now.

The wolf and I have a tumultuous relationship, Sometimes I scream at the wolf and wish he was dead and gone.. Other times the wolf is my companion, who sits besides me and howls for me when I cannot howl for myself.

This quilt was the beginning.

Before her death, this quilt belonged to my mother. This is the quilt she chose. It is back home with me now. I wish it wasn’t. I miss her.


The second wolf quilt – Yes/No and/or Just Do It

Nike (Just Do it) vs, Nancy Regan (Just Say No)

The quilt is covered with a web of thread painting, purposely attempting to obliterate the whole, yet not quite able.

Starting here, the wolf and others are;often depicted wearing Nike sneakers, ala Ruby Slippers, for protection and strength






Dead Bodies 

Mourner’s Kaddish

This quilt is about passages. It started as an entry in my journal. The quilt is made primarily from burlap and coconut fibers., hand-sewn with yarn. 

Here is the entry


Wednesday, January 07, 2009
12:55 PM
Notes from the swimming pool


I feel like a walking dead person. Everything is mechanical. I seem to have no motivation, no compass. Before I do or don’t do anything I ask myself (1) will it make my life better or (2) will it make my life worse. Then I kind of know what to do. All natural instincts are gone.

Haven’t been to the pool in a week. Haven’t enjoyed swimming since before I went to Mexico. Forced myself to go today. Query – will it make my life better? Answer should be yes, so I went. Only reason I went. When I got there, 2 other people had just arrived. Both real swimmers, not bouncers. Easy people, been there before with them. Everyone nods acknowledgment and then goes about their own business, peacefully, politely, just fine. Surprise, water is the right temperature, not hot at all. Hmm, maybe I can enjoy this. Or not. Every time I lift my arms, they feel like lead weights. This sucks. There is no pleasure. Maybe if I keep trying, the pleasure will kick in. Every second gets worse. There are 3 of us in this small pool. I am in the middle. I am too competitive and too ashamed to quit. I got in the pool last. I cannot stop until both of the other swimmers are finished. But I am not alive. I am a dead body, bloated and heavy, and floating in salty water. Don’t they see the dead body? Can’t they smell the bloated, rotting flesh? The only thing I can think is that I am dead and soon they will say the Mourners Kaddish. I keep hearing this sound over and over in my head and wait for everyone else to join in. Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’mey raba. They don’t seem to understand that I need them to say this for me. I am dead and someone needs to mourn me. First the man leaves. He is obviously a lantzman. He looks just like Ken Pariser, who looks just like my brother. I know that he knows that I am a lantzman – it is implicit in our nods to each other. Then the woman leaves – she is not a lantzman, I don’t expect her to say the Mourners Kaddish. I am waiting for the man. He comes back to the pool. I am sure he is going to notice the dead body still floating there. I am sure he is going to join in the Kaddish. He doesn’t. He leaves. I am all alone. I have no one to compete with in the pool. I can stop now if I want. Maybe if I keep swimming I will not be dead any more. Every time I lift my arm it feels like a million pounds of rotting flesh. I keep trying. I look up and think why is Leslie here? Is she looking for me? Does she know I am dead? Is she going to say the Kaddish for me? But then I realize its not Leslie, just a woman with short gray hair. I keep swimming. I keep hearing in my head Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’mey raba. I say to myself should I keep swimming? Will it make my life better or will it make my life worse? I can’t tell because I am dead. It is supposed to make my life better so I keep swimming. No one is there but me. Everyone else is long gone. I watch the clock. I can leave when I have been here an hour. That must be the measure because I cannot find any other measure. I can leave now. Why doesn’t anyone acknowledge the dead rotting body? Why won’t anyone mourn with or for me?


Other Dead Body Quilts


Dead Bodies I

Dead Bodies II

Prelude to the Blue Quilts



Viewer’s Choice



The Blue Quilts

I remember gone awry

I remember II

Return to Blue

The blue quilts were very special to my heart.

The first blue quilt I made was called I Remember. That quilt does not exist anymore. I significantly altered it, destroyed it,or improved it, depending on your point of view, and years later threw it in the trash..  I tried to remake the original quilt. but failed.  It was too optimistic, too unrealistic. I put it away in someone else’s safe keeping.. And then I started the dead body series.

Then I was ready to return to the blue quilts, a new place, a new feeling, a new beginning.

In 2011, years after the blue quilts were made, my world was turned upside down. The person who was the inspiration for the blue quilt series, betrayed my trust so significantly that I will never be the person I was when I created these quilts. I considered removing all the words that are attached to this quilt.  I have not. 
Below are the original words for the blue quilts, unaltered, yet they do not mean the same thing to me today.

Return to Blue
Completed June 23, 2009
Kathy Silbert Garrell
Dedicated To Alex MacMillan

Dear Donna,
This is the history of the blue quilt.
Unfortunately, there is no picture of the original blue quilt, before I destroyed it
This it the original email that accompanied the first blue quilt

Subject: Gratitude
From: Kathy Garrell
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008
To: Alex MacMillan

Dear Alex
I regret that I missed the opportunity to share my newest quilt with you today, although I expressly brought it to our session today just for that purpose. It was too hard for me today. I did take your prior suggestion to heart that I take some time and reflect on this past year, looking at where we began, where we went over the year, and where we want to go next. This quilt was my answer.

It’s title is “I Remember”. Beyond the obvious reference to my reflections on the past year, what it really is speaking to is my gratitude for all your many acts of kindness to me and my family over the past year. Every time you do something kind in my presence can you hear me gasp? My feelings are so loud I am sure you can. I watch it, I feel it, I smell it, I close my eyes and jump in the middle of it, but most of all I say to myself “I remember”. I remember a world where is okay to be kind, where it is okay to give and receive kindness, where kindness is the norm not the exception. That world ended. By now I can barely remember it at all. And its loss fills me with unbearable tears and pain.

The punching bag has nothing to do with anger. First, and foremost, it is a symbol of security, always there and smack dab in the middle of your room. Just like you have been. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Hence, the bag’s name “everlast”. And it is perfectly fine in front of the window. The punching bag also represents how I feel, all banged and bruised, but still standing, and ready for some more punches.

Stephanie is below you and in the graveyard – self explanatory. Maya is to your right and inside the heart among the wings and jumping with life -also self- explanatory.

The wolf now always wears his Nikes to stay safe, kind of like Dorothy’s ruby slippers and is trying to focus on life instead of death. The wolf is filled with my struggles and your kindness, hence the MacMillan crest and mini copies of some of my prior quilt figures.

Your acts of kindness are spread throughout my family and throughout my quilt, in the wolf, in the poker chips, in the coat tree, in the endless hours of Yugioh, hence the cards prominence in the quilt. Fat cat and the heavenly cookies arrived at a time of real crisis in our lives. I question whether we would have survived that time intact but for your compassion, generosity and wisdom. Hence, their prominence.

The wings, in the clouds, in the sky, much more obvious in this quilt. I am less afraid of the reference to flying – I have less need to distract and disguise.
The blues – these are your blues – soothing yet vibrant – and certainly not dull. Not a muted or muddied blue in sight. Not a pale blue either.

The rainbow lady – she’s many things. She turns, she twists, bends like a pretzel, she dances, she sings, she’s a hurricane – she hides her feelings – she makes you laugh – she’s no one yet everyone – she’s a giant puddle of muddle.
The monster at the bottom edge – he’s all filled up with all the other monsters he has already gobbled up- kind of a monster eating machine – he’s not too scary looking but watch out he has very sharp teeth!

This quilt is in honor of all you are and all you have done.
With Gratitude

Recently, I wanted to give Alex a quilt for his birthday. In the process of him choosing his favorite, the topic of the blue quilt emerged. This is the email that followed this discussion.

Dear Alex
Here are the original words that went with your quilt.
I made that quilt for you, about you.
All I remember you saying was that the quilt was idealized, not real, simplistic.
I thought I had failed. Again.
I thought no one liked it, not you, not the kids, not Ron.
I thought I was a fraud.
I thought I was self-deluded.
I destroyed it.
I felt ashamed that I made it and ashamed that I destroyed it.
I tried to recreate it.
I showed the pieces to strangers.
I thought maybe they would like it.
I wanted so badly for someone to like it.
No one liked it.
I gave up and made a left turn.
I am glad you liked it.
I wish I had known you liked it.

followed by

Dear Alex,
All the quilts are home and hung together in my workroom. I am glad I did this. The returning quilts seem so small and primitive and unskilled to me. I was afraid that maybe I had made a mistake putting them away. Now I know that that was the absolute right thing to do. The dead body series still speaks to me. Deeply. At least for now. They would not exist if I hadn’t put the others away.

It is so hard for me to find my center and really know what pleases me and what doesn’t. When I find that place it really is irrelevant to me what any other person on the planet thinks. My favorite is still “avalanche”. I wonder what I see when I look at it.

So, thank you for holding them, and thank you for returning them.

That said, may I point out to you that you are utterly impossible and unrelenting. You are the only person on the planet who I would offer to give a quilt and who would choose a quilt that does not yet exist, one that has been started and put away, that exists in my heart only. And, the one I knew you would choose.

So, you will have to wait until it is finished. It will be blue. It will be bigger. It will be about you. It will be about me. All supporting characters will be there. I am not sure about the wings or the sky, but maybe I will relent and let the wings and the sky return. I will try not to throw in any dead bodies, but I can’t promise, maybe just a dead dog or wolf or at least some dead flowers on Stephanie’s tombstone. Somehow the sappiness of the original will be twisted, not because of anyone but me – because that is not who I am and never will be -no matter how hard I try – it is part of me, but the dead bodies are just as much a part of me- And that will just have to be okay.
So, damn you Alex and thank you

Here is a picture of the quilt I am working on now, I call return to blue. As you can see, it is nothing but wings and sky and the wolf.


The Blue Lady Quilts



The Blue Lady is me, and my mother, and all the women of my family, those that are still here and those that came before, and anyone else who feels her and wants to claim her. It appears that Judith Kneen, a spectacular woman, has also claimed the Blue Lady, a good choice, in my humble opinion.

The Blue Lady is the figure you see in the middle of the first quilt, Blue Lady Underwater, She is an earlier version of myself before children, before husbands, before illness. The Blue Lady is at the epicenter of an underwater volcano. All the other figures emanate from her, are parts of her whole, and are waiting to be accepted and integrated.

The second quilt, started out entirely beige. I had seen an image of an African desert village that appealed to me. It’s very beige-ness was appealing. I purchased many beige fabrics; they never got used. The landscape emerged as a lava pit. The road became a river. Daytime became nighttime. A lighthouse appeared. The wolf came to sit beside the woman and howl for her.  I had no beige in me. 

I do not sew beautifully or easily. I struggle with my limitations and my notions of perfection. Sometimes it is impossible to remove imperfect stitching without damaging the quilt. Sometimes I err and choose damage rather than imperfection. Sometimes I cannot see the line between stop – far enough, you have done everything you have the capacity to do, and any further effort is nonproductive and/or counterproductive versus  try harder – push yourself further, just a little bit more, anything is possible, the little engine that could. I am better at this now. I learned discrimination, in life and in quilting. I doubt I will master this entirely.

The quilt back of the first lady on land has distinct fabric patches on the back, covering my misguided attempts for perfection. I doubt anyone would notice besides me. In my lack of clarity, I decided to recreate this quilt, not only recreate it, but make it an absolute perfect copy, except without the flaws. Hah!  There are more holes in the fabric on the second quilt, than the first. Some lessons need repeating.

 And so I started to depart. Notice that the first quilt is cool, while the second one is hot. The wings, the howl, turn red. All objects, including the lady herself, are touched by the energy of the lava. In the first quilt, the lady perches over the village while bemoaning her life, saying quietly, oh how I wish things were different. In the second quilt, the lady is empowered, emboldened, and ready to act rather than to ponder and bemoan. In the second quilt, the most prominent tree is on fire, my version of a burning bush, but this lady is determined not to end up like Moses, to only sacrifice but never reach the land of milk and honey

Nike Series

Homage to my outer self aka Giant Fruit Nikes



The Giant Fruit Nikes  is my counter response to this daily meditation sent to me and other members of our group

“Each Day a New Beginning- Daily Meditations for Women” by Karen Casey: Today‘s Affirmation is about Our True Character.  Our culture encourages us to be overly concerned with our outer appearance, the “face” that we show to the world. Perhaps it’s time we take a special note of the women we admire for their achievements, for their strength of character.  We could emulate them, celebrate and honor them for their special beauty, dignity, perseverance and strength. We can cultivate our own special interests and talents which will add depth to our character – to our soul – the home of true beauty. Today’s Affirmation for Octobe15th “I will remember, it’s who I am inside that truly counts in the lives of others.  Take a little time for yourself today to focus in on one of your special interests and have a good day– Love Carol 

Here are a few of my favorite responses to this quilt from the other members
…oh my gosh, this is remarkable funny and amazing; incredible metaphor for trekking through macdonald land and beyond…
.The newest menu treats from Ronald! I love it!.
…Sometimes a girl just gotta get a good laugh!!!!!!!.
…Kathy, I can’t believe that’s a real quilt!
…totally awesome and I did sure smile!!! a paradox of some sort! 
…all you need now is a pair of hairly legs in those Nikes….(my daughter’s response and thus was born the next quilt Perfection.)

Elena, is serious.  It is about the child I left behind in Russia, the child abandoned and not adopted, the child I gave up hope for, about my failure and search for forgiveness.  While quilting, I tried to give Elena everything I did not give her in life. The back is a soft baby pink printed flannel. Extra batting was added to keep her warm. And the shiny pink buttons were to make her smile. 

Perfection is my tribute to Lilly Pulitzer.



Wish you were here

This quilt is a very large fishbowl, with lots of creatures and sea people living inside. A beautiful mermaid with wings as well as a tail is flying into the fishbowl to rescue the littlest fish with her life preserver. King Neptune is surrounded in the fishbowl by his adoring group of fish. A woman, with her jeweled flippers sits outside the fishbowl, happily

It is a large quilt ( 52 inches wide and 40 inches high) and quite heavy (embellished with over 300 shiny shell buttons).

Inspiration: Wish You Were Here (Waters, Gilmore, 1975) by Pink Floyd

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground. 
What have we found? The same old fears
Wish you were here




Musical Wolf

The Musical Wolf singing Don’t Fence Me In. This quilt has been set free and is living in Mexico.

Multimedia comes to quilting The wolf really sings 86 different versions of the song Don’t Fence Me In (Cole Porter) when you push the button on the small pink mp3 player/speaker attached to the quilt.

I was stunned to discover how many professional artists recorded this song as well as how many ordinary people posted their own renditions on YouTube. Apparently, the sentiment of “don’t fence me” has universal appeal. Enjoy




I never saw another butterfly

This quilt is about the human spirit . It started with a daily affirmation.

It was inspired by the words of Victor Frankl and others; “I never saw another butterfly” – Book of children’s drawings and poems from Theresienstadt; and I never saw another butterfly, a musical memorial, taken from their poetry, songs by Charles Davidson, 1971

Affirmation for Saturday February 27th 2010
Today’s Theme is about “Being Like a Bird in a Cage”The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.– Victor Frankl

“Opening Doors Within” by Eileen Caddy:  You must recognize your freedom so you can soar to great heights spiritually. Otherwise you are like a bird in a cage, which even though the cage door is open wide, fails to understand that freedom awaits and flutters about in the cage getting nowhere. All humans are free to think and act if only they could accept it. Once you accept this freedom, you will be capable of doing great things.

“365 Prescriptions for the Soul” by Dr Bernie S, Siegel: “Why does the caged bird sing?” We are all birds in a cage in one way other another, but we have a choice in how we respond. Wouldn’t you prefer to sing? You have a choice about the quality of the song that you can sing in your life

This quilt is in memory of the members of my family who died in Treblinka, and Auchwitz:

Elihu Schmuel Wolarski, Leah Hendel Wolarski, Schulem David Wolarsi, Rachel Wolarski Frenkel, Moishe Frenkel, Rina Frenkel, Ester Woolarski Gevisgold, Dov Gevisgold, Ziesa Gevisgold, Dina Gevisgold, Rachel Gevisgold, Yocheved Wolarski Bornstein, Leon Bornstein, Miriam Bornstein, Dwoyra Wolarska Szczygielski, Mosiek David Szczygielski, Abraham Wolf Szczygielski, Frieda Szczygielski, Josek Szczygielski Temera Ruchla Szczygielski, Zysa Terca Szczygielski, Juda Szczygielski and others.

If you would like to listen to the music, you can listen here





This is a series on the study of balance  It also began my pink phase, quite a radical departure for me.

My daughter, age 11, at the time, understood immediately: Mommy, are the hands holding up the car or pushing the car off balance?









This is  a multi-quilt series about the words “trust me”. Each quilt starts with the same background fabric, but in a different palette 
These “quilts” pushed my boundary on what. in fact,  is a “quilt”,

I never completed this series. I never will.

Here is the fairytale for the last finished quilt. It is naive, at best. The person who wrote it no longer exists

Once Upon a Time, in a far-off kingdom by the sea, lived a princess, Yhtak, daughter of King Ermorej and Queen Atina. Yhtak was a happy little girl, who lived in the palace with her parents and her royal brother, Prince Yrral. She grew into a happy young princess. One day, Yhtak went to a party given by the King, where she met Nor, a handsome young prince from a distant kingdom, a kingdom Yhtak knew nothing about. Nor and Yhtak fell instantly in love, and within a blink of an eye, Nor asked Yhtak to be his princess bride. Without hesitation Yhtak agreed, and believed with all her heart that Nor would love her forever and they would live happily ever after, under the protection of the King. Yhtak agreed happily to meet Prince Nor’s family, assuming they would be kind and loving and adore her, as everyone else in the kingdom did.

Nor and Yhtak traveled for days to reach Nor’s homeland, but when they arrived, no one was home to greet them. They waited and waited for weeks, but no one appeared. Eventually a servant of Nor’s father, arrived and announced that while his parents were glad Nor was home, they were otherwise occupied and asked that the young couple forbear until they could receive them. Nor and Princess Yhtak waited another month, without any sight of Nor’s parents. Yhtak thought this was very odd behavior, indeed, but chose not to say anything. After waiting an additional month, with no word from Nor’s parents, Nor told Princess Yhtak there was no reason to wait, they should try again another time. And off they set back to the Kingdom of King Ermorej and Queen Atina.

By now, Princess Yhtak was concerned about the wedding and Nor’s parents, and especially Queen Atina told the Princess she thought she should not marry Prince Nor, for although she thought Prince Nor was wonderful, his parent’s unwelcoming behavior did not bode well for the marriage. Princess Yhtak, being young and innocent and protected all her life, dismissed her mother’s concerned and was determined to marry her Prince. She believed in happily ever after, and why shouldn’t she, given what little she had seen of life?

Well, eventually Yhtak and Nor were married, his parents came to the wedding, and as predicted made an awful lot of trouble for everyone, especially Yhtak and her parents. Nor’s parents were overheard by a servant when they whispered to each other, that they could not believe that Yhtak and her family seemed to love Nor – how was that possible? When the servant reported this conversation, to the King and Queen and Princess Yhtak, they were stunned — how could Nor’s parents be so unkind and unloving?

Yhtak’s fairy godmother appeared before her on the day or her wedding, and told her that Nor’s parents had placed an evil curse on the wedding and begged her not to go through with it. Yhtak, being young, foolish, and headstrong, dismissed the very notion of an evil curse and the wedding was held as planned.

Nor and Yhtak went on an extended honeymoon, over many foreign kingdoms. Yhtak tried to ignore the warning about the evil curse, but Nor kept occasionally behaving in odd ways, things he had never done before, words he had never said before. Yhtak was concerned but kept pushing this out of her mind, trying to not to spoil her fun.

After three months, Nor and Yhtak returned home, weary but happy. Not perfect, but still happy. They climbed into their bed in the castle and fell into a deep sleep. When Yhtak awoke, Nor was nowhere to be found. She looked and looked but could not find Nor. She summoned all the royal staff and the entire kingdom turned into a search party, determined to find Nor, the missing prince.

After months and months of search, Yhtak’s fairy godmother appeared again. She held a strange toad in her hand and informed Yhtak that the evil curse was indeed real, and it had turned Nor into this toad. She also told Yhtak that it was impossible for anyone to remove the curse Nor’s parents had placed on him, and that Nor would remain a toad for the remainder of his life.

Yhtak refused to accept that the curse was irreversible. She tried every loving and kind act possible, read every book written on the subject of parental curses, went to every doctor in the kingdom, got advice from every witch in the kingdom, even pleaded with Nor’s parents to reverse the curse, but it was all to no avail. Nor remained a toad.

Yhtak and Nor tried to live a normal life, even though Nor was a toad. Their life together, however, was odd and not altogether happy, well, what could you expect when you are a toad? Everyone in the kingdom tried to help the best they could. Children seemed impossible, making Nor and Yhtak very sad. Yhtak’s fairy godmother arranged for them to adopt a boy and a girl from a faraway kingdom. The boy, Wehttam, and the girl, Lehcar, were adorable, but suffered from a strange disease they brought from their Kingdom, which made them move and talk all the time, without stop. Yhtak and Nor loved them exactly as they were, strange illness and all, after all, wasn’t Yhtak married to a toad, who she loved very much? What was so bad about being cursed or different? But Yhtak worried that maybe her children’s odd illness was part of the curse placed on her and Nor by Nor’s parents.

And so, Yhtak traveled the land in search of someone, anyone, who could reverse Nor’s parents’ curse, and heal her husband and her children. She tried everything. She met everyone. No one could help.

One day she knocked on the door of this strange old building, with a small sign that said “Healing Center – all welcome “, tucked away in the far corner of the kingdom. A strange old man, with white hair, told them to go on upstairs, and see the healer in first room, named Einahpets. Yhtak was weary by this time, and although everything told her to runaway, she knocked on Einahpets door softly. The door opened, and a surprisingly timid woman answered. Yhtak asked her if she was indeed the great healer, Einahpets? The woman replied that she was, and welcomed Yhtak into her room. Yhtak explained to Einahpets about her husband, the toad, and her children, and asked her if she thought she could help her removed the evil parents curse. Einahpets looked unsure, but said she would be willing to try, and that at the very very least, she promised she would never abandon Yhtak or her children. Yhtak thought this promise was weird, thought Einahpets to be a fraud, but Yhtak was so weary that she agreed to return the next day, with Nor, Wehttam and Lehcar.

The next day, Yhtak, Nor, Wehttam and Lehcar. returned to the Healing Center. They went into Einahpets room, where Einahpets tried her hardest to remove the curse, but failed. At the end of the session Einahpets told them all return the next day, so she could try again. This went on every day for two entire years, yet Einahpets never managed to remove the curse, but always swore that tomorrow she would succeed.

Eventually Yhtak could stand it no more. Neither could Wehttam who started to scream at and curse and hit everyone he met, especially his father, the toad and Einahpets, the healer. He told his mother he wished he was dead, he wished his father was dead, and he especially wished that Einahpets was dead, so that he did not have to see her anymore.

Einahpets was confused, and told Yhtak to speak with the main healer in the building, the great white wizard of a man they had first met, who lived downstairs, the great healer Xela. Yhtak was dubious that this odd little wizard had any power at all, especially not the power needed to drive out such an evil parental curse. But she was desperate, after all this talk about death and so she decided to be brave enough to knock on Xela’s door.

And to Yhtak’s surprise, she felt at home in Xela’s presence. She told him everything. Things she had never spoken of before. She told him how hard it was to be married to a toad, to have children with such an odd illness, how disturbing it was that Nor’s parents had cursed them all and that this curse seemed impossible to live with and yet impossible to remove. Xela listened and understood. He told Yhtak she could trust him, that under his leadership and guidance, a way could be found to either live with the curse or remove the curse. Yhtak believed him and breathed easily for the first time in many many years. And Xela told her that she should continue to trust Einahpets, that he needed her help to do all this magic and good. And so, Yhtak trusted and went forward.

Many meetings were held to determine the best way to remove the curse. One day, when in a meeting with Yhtak, Nor, Einahpets and Xela, Yhtak had a great vision. She saw the Great Blue Wolf, who whispered in her ear that Einahpets was a fraud, incompetent, and stood in the way of removing the curse. The wolf also told her that Xela, had great healing powers but did not yet know how to use them to remove the curse.

And so Einahpets was fired. Xela complained and said Einahpets was wonderful. Yhtak cried but held firm. Great turmoil ensued. Many plans were tried to remove the curse, many of which made no sense to Yhtak and which seemed to insist upon Yhtak’s demise as the core of the cure. Many new people were brought in to assist Xela remove the curse, including Ayam, and the great healer Annod.

Often Yhtak allowed herself to be bound, tied, screamed at, cursed, and otherwise tortured in attempts to remove the curse. The curse weakened at moments, but Nor remained a toad, and the children’s illness never healed. Yhtak grew more and more weary, and angry at being used as the cure and hurt in the process and wanted to quit trying to remove or live with the curse. She thought about killing herself. She thought about killing Nor. She thought about running away and never returning. She started weaving pictures of her pain.
She started to wonder whether she herself was now strangled by the evil Nor’s parental curse. She was in anguish.

The Great Blue Wolf could feel her pain and came to sit by her side. He whispered in her ear how the curse could be removed, how a healing for all was possible. He told her he had sent her Annod, as his right hand and Xela as his left hand. He told her that Xela understood the curse, because he himself, had been turned into a toad by a parental curse, that although he appeared as a man, he was still really a toad, but had learned some magic to make it appear as if his curse had been removed. Xela and Nor had much in common. He told her Annod understood the curse as well, but was not a toad.

The Great Blue Wolf told Yhtak that all she needed to do was love Xela, as he was, toad and all. And then the hardest part, to get Xela to believe that she loved him, as a toad instead of a wizard. For once Xela embraced his toadness, he would have all the healing power he needed to remove his own curse, and then to help Nor embrace his toadness, and help Nor remove his own curse. The wolf told Yhtak that a parental curse could only be removed by the child of the parent who placed the curse. No one else could do it for them. And once they remove their own curse, the curse on their children, their wives and all who love them and have been included in the parental curse, can be healed.

The Great Blue Wolf told Yhtak that Annod had already told this to Xela, but he didn’t hear or listen to her. The Wolf told Yhtak that the true path of healing was from Annod and Yhtak to Xela, then from Xela to Nor, and then from Nor to his wife and children and Xela to his wife and child, and so on and so forth, until all who knew them in the kingdom would be healed.

The first part was very easy for Yhtak for Xela was a very lovable toad, and she had much experience living with and loving a toad. And she knew that Xela was special, and lovable, no matter what. However, try as she might, Xela could never believe that Yhtak loved him as a toad, and continued to insist that he was a wizard, not a toad. Yhtak tried over and over again. Every time she failed. Finally, she gave up and declared that since Xela could not embrace his true toadness, he was not a true healer.

In great sadness Yhtak admitted defeat, accepted there would be no healing, that Nor would remain forever a toad, and cursed, and that Xela, himself would remain a toad and cursed. How very very sad, for Nor and Xela, for their families and for all that loved and admired them.

Try as she might, Yhtak continued to love Nor and Xela, even as toads, for love never dies. However, she found living with their curses just too difficult and decided to go her own way, taking her children with her.


The End.



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