(I typed her name in Google Images and this pic came up. I’m guessing this isn’t the Princess though)
In my last post I mentioned noticing a road sign outside Lidl’s in Folkestone (free parking for 90 minutes) named after St Eanswythe (aka Ēanswīþ or Eanswide). I guessed she might be the Patron Saint of Dyslexics but got it wrong. Anyway, she’s been on my mind ever since. It isn’t the fact that she was an Anglo-Saxon princess that stayed with me or that she died in 640 aged just 26. It was the fact that her party trick was to turn into a fish. A fish! Why a fish? I suppose that living by the sea was a stroke of luck for a princess prone to morphing into a fish. If say she’d been an Arab princess living out in the desert, then turning into a fish would likely mean certain, almost instant death.
What added value did she get out of turning into a fish? Apparently, a pagan prince fancied Eanswythe something rotten but it came to nothing. When he asked her out for a drink one night she replied, “Sorry but I fancy turning into a haddock tonight, perhaps another time.” It was probably for the best as being pagan he would have had no hope of spelling Eanswythe let alone Ēanswīþ or Eanswide so would never have coped come the day he had to send her a birthday card.
I got to wondering how the Pope would have made her a Saint. Impressive as turning herself into a fish might be, I couldn’t see that that was the thing that got her the sainthood, so I did some research locally. What I found out was that back in the day there was a drought and the people living at the top of the town were dying of dehydration. However, downtown there was a well and the then Princess Eanswythe went to the well, said a prayer and the water from the well defied gravity and started to flow up the hill so the peasants could have a drink at last – why the peasants didn’t just walk down the hill to the well I don’t know, it’s only about a quarter mile walk and not that steep. Whatever, that’s what impressed The Pope. I was also told that The Pope might have been misinformed as local rumour has it that the blokes of Folkestone set up a rudimentary pumping station at the site of the well and worked their socks off – that is if socks had been invented back then – pumping the water up the hill. That to me sounds like Princess Eanswythe was telling porkies. I’m glad I don’t do religion.
A POEM FOR PRINCESS EANSWYTHE
Let’s change the rules of engagement
Let’s throw caution to the wind
Let’s speak no more of you being a haddock
Because when you tell lies you’ve sinned
Thinking about it, those two first lines might make it into a new song. Thank you, Princess! I wonder if she died a human or a fish?
Time for some music. First one of mine, ‘Ticking Clock’ from the ‘Dream Rescuer album. I hope you enjoy;
Next the song, ‘Blue Skies’ from Noah & The Whale’s excellent ‘First Days of Spring’ album;
Re – Dream Rescuer: Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio. All rights reserved. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.