The Mother Hubbard Enigmas

Mother Hubbard, an old woman, speaks to the audience from her kitchen in a circle of light surrounded by darkness in The Mother Hubbard Enigmas.  She says she heard noises in the cupboard that she thought were rats, but there was nothing there when she looked.  She says she put a bone for the dog in the cupboard and found that at night the bone had moved at least two feet.  When she left the bone on the kitchen floor it was gone in the morning.  She thought the dog was dead but then at night she heard it howling for a bone and heard laughing after she put tripe on the kitchen floor.  When she looked the tripe was gone but she could smell tobacco that her long-dead father smoked.  She put beer in a dish in a corner and heard the sound of lapping in the darkness.  When she came home with fruit she heard the sound of a flute but there was no one in the kitchen and what looked like an old wig was crawling across a cupboard shelf.  In the morning, she says, it was gone but there was one raisin which she decided not to eat.  Now at night she hears goats and a clip-clop sound on the floorboards.  She wonders if she could teach the dog to stand on its head and dance and play the flute, and they could run off and join the carnival.  She finds old shoes scattered around the house and thirty-year-old newspapers with half-finished crossword puzzles.   Everything is a mystery, but the more she thinks about it the more it seems to her that she never had a dog.  She hears a voice whispering in her ear that tells her to crawl into the cupboard and close the door behind her and never come out.

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