Part three

Life continued in that strange manner for the three very odd little children in that round little cottage in Crone’s Corners until the leaves on the trees took on their fall mantle and the air grew crisp as it does when autumn is upon us.  However, as life itself never stays the same, something unusual happened one evening, something out of the ordinary in the lives of the three young ones.  A strange creature was observed skulking under a nearby tree as evening darkness approached.  The full moon was beginning to scale the horizon so the shadows were growing longer and soon it would be night.

Fergis, who was most entertained by making faces at his image in the window, was the first to notice the rather hairy creature with the big, bloody teeth and stiff manner outside.  He pointed excitedly while shouting, “Look!  Big doggy,” and he jumped up and down with excitement.

Veronica came to join him and see what he was on about, leading Virgilia as she abandoned her smashing pumpkins.  A new distraction might have to offer more entertainment than the old one that she now readily abandoned.  The dark haired girl looked out the window then at her companion with a quizzical look on her face, “I don’t know what a big doggy is, do you?  Should we go see?”

Excited and curious now, the three of them went to where they had seen the being but it had disappeared.  They looked behind the tree, up the tree, and all about them but none of them could see the creature they saw only moments before.  It might have been strange to any other observer, but the children weren’t the brightest in the land.

“Maybe the big doggy was really a ghost,”  offered Fergis who seemed to think that was something interesting for a creature to be.

Virgilia cringed just a bit upon hearing his remark and asked, “I don’t think I like those, do I?”  She wrung her hands nervously as if that would protect her from something unfamiliar, but that would only last a moment or so until she forgot that she was anxious at all.

Veronica patted her friend on the head and offered, “Ghosts are quite fun actually, but I don’t think that was a ghost . . . one can see through those, can’t they?”  The young miss asked questions frequently for which she did not expect a response from her companions.

Fergis shrugged his shoulders and answered, “I dunno, I never saw one.”  He added as an afterthought, “But then I never saw a big doggy either.”  His eye spied a rock and being a boy (if not a very normal one) he reached over and picked it up.  He drew his arm back and tossed it in an arch across the way.

“Ouch!”  The children heard the noise but there was nothing that they could see where the rock hit.  Veronica repeated the exercise but as she did not have a good aim, she only just nicked whatever was there.  “Hey, cut that out.  That hurts!”  Only this time the voice appeared to come from behind them, not where the stone hit the first time.

Strange, they thought, but as they were children and easily distracted, the arrival of a barn owl that perched on a branch overhead just then was far more interesting than an invisible being no matter what it might turn out to be.  Veronica noticed that the bird had a bit of paper in its beak that it dropped and it fluttered slowly back and forth in the air until it reached the ground.  Veronica picked up the folded black paper and looked at what was inside.  She screwed up her eyes and tilted her head as she tried to decipher the pictures drawn there but as it was now growing quite dark and the moon was not providing enough light, she decided to go back inside where there were lamps and candles instead.


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