The Midwifes Apprentice
The Midwife's Apprentice
Author: Karen Cushman
Now, before I attempt to judge this book by its cover, I should point out that people like Judge Sotomayor would probably think that a white guy like myself is totally incapable of such an undertaking. They would assume that a woman would probably have a richness of experiences to draw on that would make her much more fit to judge this book and would lead her to a better conclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I am about to prove that point.
One can tell that it was clearly the custom in older times to deliver a baby at home, as is evidenced by the cover. Assisting her in the process was a midwife. Now here is where a woman would probably go astray. She would rely on her richness of experiences to assume that the midwife's apprentice would be by her side, learning the trade and assisting in the process. She would be wrong. The midwife's apprentice was clearly stationed outside the window, making it much easier for her to run like hell if things went horribly wrong. Furthermore, this would also keep her from getting her uniform soiled with all of the ungodly mess that often accompanies the arrival of a child. In todays society, the midwife's apprentice is no longer needed, because we have fathers who can stand outside the window and look around nervously, but in the old days this was a very crucial role that needed to be filled while the father was off hunting and gathering stuff.
The role of the cat is somewhat less clear in the process. A woman would probably assume the cat was some type of primitive scissor, using it's teeth to sever the umbilical cord. Or she would theorize that it could have been used to lick the new infant clean. Being free of such feminine biases, however, I am able to discern the true reason for the presence of the cat. The cat is not a part of the birthing team, it is rather part of a gynecological oddity the likes of which hasn't been seen since mary had a little lamb. Yes, the cat is clearly the product of an early (and clearly) failed attempt at an animal human hybrid. Later successful attempts have been well chronicled in television series such as the famed "Catwoman".
Not lost in this whole experience is the irony of the fact that I am asking you to not judge me by my cover, and hence assume that I am incapable of judging this book by it's cover. Those who did and tuned out early missed one heck of a great book. Those who stuck around were rewarded with the type of deep and thoughtful analysis that led to Sotomayor's nomination in the first place. Perhaps President Obama should take a moment to notice the amount of time that I have saved readers of The Axis, and nominate me to the soon-to-be vacated seat on the Supreme Court. Imagine how much could be accomplished when a Judge judges a case by its cover, rather than judging other judges by their covers.