GO AWAY, STAY AWAY by Gall E. Haley


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Haley's little story, if it can be called a story, is so obviously set up to illustrate the folk belief in ""evil spirits"" that it's too bad we don't at least encounter some authentic particulars. Instead, a note about the prevalence of exorcising rituals (from Europe to Africa to Indonesia to China to America) follows a scenario, set in an unspecified (as pictured, middle European) mountain village, wherein Mother's spinning wheel is upset by Spinnikins, a plateful of buns is devoured by the Bunshee, sister's milking pail is overturned by the Kickle-bucket, and Ivan's cheese is smashed by the Hobble Goblins. All the while father is busy carving a ""very special mask,"" and when it's done he leads the village in a gala procession designed to rout all the ""mischievous winter spirits which have been troubling us."" Alas, any child interested in finding the land where ail his lapses can be blamed on the likes of gremlins gets no leads from Haley, who doesn't indicate whether the Spinnikin, Bunshee, and such are from the same culture, an international pastiche, or her own invention. As pictured, they're feathery creatures, mostly human but with an occasional horn, tail, etc., otherwise distinguished from the ""real"" by being outlined and delineated in thick white instead of Haley's usual heavy black. Their chief mischief here is to raise more questions than they answer.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1977
Publisher: Scribners