When Mrs. Bumble told me about the Jewels of Jericho in the barn that night, I thought she was a little nuts. But after the girls and I heard that the Black and White Sisters had swooped in and stolen my father and taken him to South America, I started to think . . . maybe it wasn't so crazy after all? I was really confused when Bumble - who is always a little out there - started talking about how I was her sacred 'charge' or 'responsibility' or something. And then she said I had - uh - powers? It was super weird! But then again, waking up on my twelfth birthday as a twenty-five-year old woman was not exactly 'normal'!
She told me I was a descendant of the Jewels of Jericho and my mother was too . . . and also my grandmother, Savannah, who I'd never met! I remembered when we were at Silver Mountain last summer for the sixth grade trip, before the sisters kidnapped me and my friends and took us to that creepy cabin. She started telling me more than I ever wanted to know about my supposed history . . .
Mrs. Bumble had drawn in a long breath and began her crazy story.“Thousands of years ago, an ancient civilization sprang to life on the banks of the Dead Sea. Believed to be the first city on earth, the community, ruled by women, called themselves the Jewels of Jericho. As the women in the community developed their spiritual skills, they came to understand they had special powers. Some had visions, some could heal, some could travel with their minds. Some spoke to the deceased or predicted events.
"The Jewels passed their gifts down to their descendants. Most gifts manifested in the female children due to their innate creative ability, but when males embraced their power, they, too,found they could become true forces of nature. Gifted communities sprang up all over the world—North and South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa,even Antarctica. As the communities grew, however,so did the fear. Afraid of power they didn’t understand,neighboring villages attacked the gifted and rejected their abilities. Many communities renounced the natural gifts of the Jewels and had them jailed or killed. Over the centuries, the Jewels of Jericho were pushed away, eliminated, forced underground, and nearly extinguished."
When I asked how come no one had ever heard of them, she said this: “Have you ever heard of Cherokee, Mayan, Eskimo, or Aztec civilizations? Those cultures have all been influenced by the Jewels,” Bumble had explained. “They may call their gifted ones by different names—shamans, holy men, healers. Modern Americans sometimes call them psychics or mediums.”
At this point, I was pretty wigged out, but I needed to know a little more so I pushed on and asked what happened to the Jewels. Here's what she said . . .
“By the beginning of the twentieth century, only a few hundred of the original Jewels of Jericho survived. They meet each year, to share traditions and discuss how to protect their remaining
descendants. Each fall, their journey lands them in a Mexican mountain range called the Transvolcanic Belt. To visitors, this meeting appears as a migration of millions of monarch butterflies, covering the trees and hibernating for the winter. Many who witness this spectacle leave feeling strangely comforted, healed, and uplifted. To the Jewels of Jericho, however,
this meeting—a powerful coming together of their collective energy and life force—is known by its ancient name, the Council of Butterflies."
So there you have it . . . I always wondered about Bumble traveling by way of 'butterflies' and now I know why. I only hope the Council can help me, Kat, and Dolly find my dad. Who knows what we'll find down in South America and Mexico. Maybe I'll learn if I actually have powers or not? I tried to wish myself out of the long plane ride, but no luck! Until later, then . . .
Your Tabby (aka Ms. Mulligan)