The Treacherous Elder

The Treacherous Elder greetings card

I will grow anywhere, even on sea cliffs. You cannot hide from me. Of old I was found close by your door, though always slighted, never invited in; a shaving elder by the door will keep the devil away, but dare to burn me – just you dare, and I’ll invite him in. I am the scourge of flies, and will also keep these from your threshold. My hollow branches are a child’s delight – to the fair ones I give the best whistles and flutes; to Thursday’s child I give up perfect pea-shooters. All children smile their quirky sideways smiles when they dare sip my complex cordial, while to their parents, my flower’s wine gives glinting eyes and the season’s sweetest kiss.

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