Owen Arlie McDaid (p115-limited quantity) $24.00
As told by Maureen
Owen Arlie McDaid is a storyteller and a poet. The new Pippsywoggins that appear in the meadow are sent to him. The first thing that he does is to help them write their Pip‑Poem and record it as the first entry in their Pip‑Story Journal. Then he helps them find a home.
When I first heard about this custom, I was very surprised. To my logic, it seemed like finding a home would be the first priority. After all, isn't it very important to have shelter from the wind and rain? And don't we all, whether we are Pippsywoggin or human, need a place to keep our possessions? It didn't make sense to me.
When I questioned Owen Arlie, his reaction was one of surprise that I would even ask the question. He had visited my bookshelves frequently, and had often read my books of poetry. He had just assumed that all humans wrote poetry.
When a new Pip appears in the meadow, born of the dreamsongs of the butterflies, they are already full grown. They are capable of taking care of themselves within 20 minutes of their arrival. They can read and write, and each possesses a special skill with which to make a living. Like Pheasant chicks, they are ready to scurry off into the world almost as soon as their feet touch the ground.
What is lacking in their development is that which we call soul or spirit. If forced to begin immediately to find a home and to work to provide for it, they could do so. But they would be doing so like little programmed robots. Writing the Pip‑Poem forces them to slow down at the beginning of their life to ask who they are, what makes them unique, what they like, and what they don't. Once they've done that, then they know just what kind of house will suit them best.
Once I understood, it made perfect sense. So I got out a piece of paper and began my poem. I figure it's never too late to begin.
1995, 2006 by Maureen Carlson