Mr. Green was a witch and everyone knew it, although no one on the hill dared ever call him that. They all feared him turning his eye on their crops, or cows, or house, or children. They all whispered behind the man’s back, but as sure as I’m standing here right now they all went banging on his cabin door when something was the matter. “Help us, Mr. Green!” They’d yell out, and the old man never batted an eye, but helped his brothers and sisters like he’s helping himself.
Up on that mountain there are lots of stories about old Mr. Green, but my favorite by far is the tale about how he got his powers of sight and healing. One day, as they say, when old Mr. Green was just young Levi Green, and there weren’t all that many people out on the mountain, he was out picking corn in the field when he sees this snow-white bird flying through the air on the other side of the yard. It was the prettiest bird Levi had ever seen, with feathers so white it caught the sunlight and made that bird shine and shimmer. It came down through the air in a sort of spiral going round and round until it hit the ground with a THUD! Well Levi threw down his corn basket and ran straight over to the spot where the bird had landed. When he got there he looked down and didn’t see no bird but just a patch of silver clover, unlike anything he’d ever seen before.
Well as soon as the milk cow saw that patch of clover she was on top of it munching and munching until none of it was left. “Cain’t hurt her none.” Levi thought to himself before running back to finish his chores.
Later that evening Levi’s maw called him back to the cabin for supper. While around the table Levi told his folks just what he’d seen earlier, about the white bird and the cow eating all of that silver clover. Levi’s maw perked up at his story and told the boy to run out immediately and get as much milk as he could from the cow. So Levi ran out to the barn and milked one whole bucketful of milk but the cow still felt like she could give more. So Levi drank up the entire bucketful in one gulp then started back at milking. He milked and milked and got another full bucket but the cow still could give more. So Levi drank up the entire bucketful in one gulp then went back to milking. He managed to get one last bucketful before the ole cow was finished.
Levi took the bucket of milk back to the cabin where his maw was tending to the fire. She took the bucket from him, “Is this all the milk?” She asked him.
“Yes ma’am.” Levi replied.
“You didn’t spill any did you?”
“No ma’am, the cow wanted to give more milk than we had buckets so I drank some just so I could get all of it.”
Levi’s maw nodded her head and told the boy that she knew he was destined to be some great healer. Levi didn’t know what she meant until years later when he started having strange dreams, sometimes when he wasn’t even asleep. After the dreams he found that if someone was sick he could work some magic and they would be cured. He never knew how it was done, but his maw always said it was because of that milk he drank. It must have been a gift from God above.
Levi healed for years and years around the mountain. Eventually his maw and paw passed from this world and Levi decided to sell the cabin and move out to some lonely spot in the woods away from all the new folks moving to the mountain. People would go up and see him all the time asking for help and cures. He always knew someone was truly in need when they managed to hike all the way up the mountain to his cabin. Many people made up a lot of stories and rumors about the man, but don’t you believe them, Mr. Green has and always will be a man set only on healing those in need and keeping to himself.