A fairy tale. Or is it?
My father never told us ghost stories; after all he was part of the church-counsel most of his adult life and the church would have nothing to do with the occult of course, therefore he had to be an example not only for the congregation, but also for his own household. Still, the characters in his stories, which were ordinary people, were able to do some strange things. For instance, one of his characters, whom he called little Danish, was able to walk outside over the telephone wires from pole to pole. An other one of his characters, who was big and tall, (and clumsy,) he called big Danish, could not do these things. How little Danish got onto these wires? Well, easy, he walked straight up the the telephone pole, 'how else was he getting there', he would say, murmuring to himself, 'what a dumb question.' Big Danish, could not walk up on the telephone poles either of course.
My father was a short person.
If after one of his stories you would ask him if everything he had told us was true, he would chew that over and say, 'now - everything?'
All of my stories are true of course, yet sometimes something unexpected happens ...
While vacationing with my grandparents, who lived on the heather, purple heather, as far as the eye could see, right up to the horizon, where it blended with the blue of the sky, so one was never sure where the heather ended and sky took over. On this sunny summer-day I wandered over a sandy rabbit path in the heather field where I came face to face with a girl about my age sitting on a large rock. As I was living in the north where we covered our entire body including arms and legs, here I was eyeing a girl without shoes or clogs, even without leg covering. I noticed that her legs were a nice tan as were her naked arms and face. Too late to turn about, I stopped momentarily, when the girl said
“Are you the one on holidays with the old people in the heather?” and when I hesitated she moved a little.
“Come sit with me, I have nobody to play with either.” Her voice, friendly yet commanding, made me wonder how she knew that I had nobody to play with? She had nice springy hair I noticed as I approached her. Her tone of voice changed when when she asked
“Where do you come from” she started again, “the north pole, with those long black hoses on your legs, take them off, and kick off those dumb clogs as well, it is summer you know.” In spite of my misgivings I did as she demanded, kicking off my clogs but taking of my hoses was more difficult as they were fastened to my under-shirt with an elastic band. To undo this band I had to reach into the short pant-legs, then up through the shorts, all the way to the top to unhook them from the the button on the undershirt. As I was sitting with the girl on the confined space of the rock, with the girl watching me struggling in my shorts, was quite unsettling. I did succeed though, stripped the long hoses off my feet and jumped off the rock into the warm sand and the rabbit-droppings, and got immediately my reward because it felt sooo good!
The girl snuggled up to me as the place to sit on the rock was very small, and she nearly fell off it, she said. We talked about everything under the sun. Where does the wind come from, and when the wind has gone from someplace does it leave a hole? Deep questions, and others, just as mysterious, how come some people are brown and we are white, and how berries get sweet when no one seems to fertilize them with sugar? Also, is there a treasure buried under this rock? What is the treasure? We talked and talked, and the more we talked the more I liked the girl with the tanned legs. I didn't mind her sitting close to me.
She asked if I had ever been at Gallows mountain. I had not and she said that she would show me. She seemed to like me and I did not miss a boy to play with. She ran fast too, for a girl anyways. She led the way, hair dancing with every step. I barely could keep up. It felt like I was flying and my bare feet on the warm sand was exhilarating. She finally stopped at what looked like a a house sunk into the ground, only the roof was visible, and called on a man, asking for a kind of broom. The man appeared at a gable window to hand her a broom like grandfather used in the barn. The girl deftly stepped over the broom holding it firmly with both hands. She looked... o, no, she looked like a witch on a broom! I turned to run, for I had definitely landed in a loony bin.
“Hop on,” the girl said, as the man cackled a funny laugh, like water boiling in a kettle 'cobele cobele.' I wheezed
“I have to go,” with a dry throat “grandmother does not know where I am.” I promised never to play with a girl again.
“Come on, chicken, am I better than you?” the girl taunted and that did it. No girl was going to call me a chicken. My teeth chattering, I stepped over the broom behind her; I'd show her. Show her what? I hoped it might still be a dare of the girl. It was not. All she told me was not to fall sideways while we were still on the ground.
“You know how to bike?” Courage had totally left me. “Sure I know how to bike, but this ain't biking” I cried.
“Once you get speed on a bike you can't fall, right? Flying is exactly the same, once you're air born you can't fall.” That is all the instruction I got. We counted 'one two three,' hopped, and away we sailed, over the sunken house and the birch trees, with me squeezing on to the girl, as this was for dear life sake.
We did land at Gallows mount and saw the hanging tree where centuries ago criminals were hanged. And it was exiting, this flying, but when the girl asked me to get up front on the return trip I refused. For me to drive a broom couldn't be any nicer than me holding on to my newly found friend. Even if she was a girl.
Now, is everything in this story true?
All of my stories are true, yet sometimes something unexpected happens...