Life at the CowChows is so much fun. I was out back piddling with something the other day when I heard from behind me a very timid, “Hi.”
I turned and there stood one of the neighborhood kids, a blond haired little girl about eight years old. “Hello,” I responded.
We exchanged a few neighborly niceties, and then she asked, “How big is your house?”
I turned and studied the house for a moment and then said, “Oh, I don’t know. Kinda big, I guess. Why?”
“Some of the kids think it’s haunted,” she whispered.
“Oh, it is,” I whispered back and her eyes got very big. “I’m not supposed to talk about it, but there are several ghosts that live in our house.” I looked around to be sure none were listening before continuing, “Some of them are very nice, but some of them scare me sometimes.”
Her mouth dropped open and her stare went from me to the house and back again.”R-r-really,” she stammered, “who are they?”
“Well, there’s the Riverboat Captain. We don’t know for sure but we think he used to drive a boat on the river behind your house and one time when the river was up, like it is now, he fell overboard. He’s kinda grouchy but he’s mostly nice. Then there’s one that we call Grandma because we can hear her softly humming but when we go into the room no one is there, but the rocking-chair is still rocking. Then there’s the old indian chief. His tribe would camp right down there next to the river, and he tells me lots of stories about hunting in these woods and fishing in the river. He once saw a bear right over there in those trees.”
“What about the ones that scare you,” she asked softly.
“Oh,” I said, and I looked around again to be sure none were listening. Her eyes were big again when I looked back. “There’s only one that’s really scary. You don’t want to meet him. He’s big and kind of hairy all over. Sometimes when he walks he drags one leg like this.” I took a big step toward her and dragged my other boot through the dirt. She backed up. “He only ever laughs when he smells small children and when he does it sounds like this.” I did my best impression of a deranged hyena, and she backed up some more. “He can change the way he looks and sometimes…,” I took another boot-dragging step toward her, “..he makes himself look just like…,”
I didn’t get to finish the story but I’m pretty sure she’ll come back; they always do.