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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Magic 2014

This year, The Head Troll declared that at one minute past midnight on October 30, the first minute of Halloween, the Misfits should gather at the Pumpkin Patch. This alone conjured up great excitement. I am writing to you on Friday morning to try to share the magic of the night.

The barnyard is always excited for Halloween. They do not look at it as a night of spooks from the dead coming to haunt them, rather they anticipate the magic of the night. While any night amongst Nature without a flashlight will bring up all sorts of spooky feelings for most of us two footers, the animals are confidant in the dark and know it as the Moon Time.

The animals enjoy exchanging personalities during Halloween–something about donning a mask that can give insight into another creature. But this year, The Head Troll declared that no costumes would be made. Instead, at one minute past midnight on October 30, the first minute of Halloween, the Misfits should gather at the Pumpkin Patch. This alone conjured up great excitement. Firstly, nobody is allowed into the pumpkin patch this time of year because the giant orange fruits are still residing there, most of them destined to nurture the piglets. The area is always fenced off until I deem it open for Misfit meandering where they can nibble on weeds and tend to the many graves of former Misfits. The pumpkin patch is hallowed ground for as we tend the pumpkins or maintain the graves, we are walking above the bones of so many–Old Man Guinnias, Honey Boy Edwards, Gertie, Georgie, Tasha Teats, Doris the duck, Mr. Bradshaw, Lofa, Aunt Bea, Rosa's lambs, Emily Wiggly…and now, our newly departed, Floyd.

The fresh grave of Floyd is the largest grave we've ever had. It's fitting it is the size of a couch, because if you read about Floyd in my previous post, you know Floyd was like a couch–a beautiful, soft, ruminating couch. The burial is so fresh in my mind…and hands, back and heart…that I wasn't sure if I was up to a Halloween night. But I looked at all the Misfits going about their day, and once again was helped to join the living. Floyd would be with us, right there in the midst of the pumpkins.

In the past, I have seen things occur on Halloween night in the barnyard that have no earthly explanation. And while I was tired from the last week's ongoing care taking responsibilities, I was ready for some magic…natural magic. As always, I had no idea what the plan was. It was not my job to make a plan, or know the plan of Halloween night–it is always up to The Head Troll.

As the clock neared midnight on Thursday, I was sitting by the fire with Martyn. I had consumed some red wine, as always, but you must understand I had carefully maintained my wits. One does not want to miss magic, and intoxicants might make you think the magic is enhanced, but it is actually dulled and you miss many sensations of the moment. Besides, being tipsy around the Misfits on Halloween, in the dark, in a pumpkin patch is unwise as well as unsafe.

A rap came at the door, then the sound of rushing feet. A simple note was at my feet...

"Come now." signed T.H.T.

I used my flashlight to get to the gate, and there was Marcella, clearly visible in her all white coat, waiting to walk with me. I could see there was a distinct shining coming from the pumpkin patch, and as I grew closer I could feel lots of beady little eyes attached to little squat bodies glancing at me as I arrived, all the while as they sat around an enormous pumpkin, some 3' high. It was the biggest pumpkin in the patch– and while the pumpkin sat off to the side of Old Man Guinnias' grave, the seeds and stem had emanated from under his grave stones. I had visited the barn in the dark many times in the past week due to Floyd's condition, and had not noticed any shining pumpkin. I'm sure of this. But there it was, that same large pumpkin emanating this beautiful light, as if someone had hollowed it out and put a large candle in it. The group that had gathered did not make a sound.

And then the silence was broken. One of the Misfits, I think it was Wilbur, smiled, and sighed. Hoof stomps were heard, tails might have swished in excitement, Rosie looked at Earnest and familiar grunts were exchanged. There was no fear, it was more of a controlled excitement, like a crowd getting ready for the real fireworks display to begin.

So there I sat, surrounded by a bunch of squat pygmy goats and other crippled elders, two pigs and some fowl. I could see the piglets were on their fence line, huddled, not a squeal to be heard. Boone's head was leaning over the pumpkin patch fence, in silence, almost reverential.

The Head Troll got up and put one foot on the shining pumpkin.

"Thank you for coming to us." she said to the pumpkin light.

And then she listened, one ear in closer to the beautiful, glowing orb of orange with a streak of green. Several seconds went by.

"He says the dance troup is doing very well and that he is happy," she told the gathering.

We all knew it was Old Man Guinnias. He had written us after his death, several times and told us that he had started a dance troup to give all the old goats that die a chance to dance-many were crippled in their earth bound days. And I doubt anyone of you is surprised that Old Man Guinnias came to us on this magical night through the skin of a pumpkin.

The Head Troll then went around to each Misfit present, and whispered in their ear. This is a pretty stoic bunch, so most showed no signs of alarm, joy or sadness at what was whispered to them. Some did–Old Rudy sniffed and dried a tear, Rosie lay down afterwards and closed her eyes and slept, and Marcella acted like she'd just been given the Academy Award in something.

Everyone got a whispered message, except me. I did not show my disappointment in this, but I must tell you I was somewhat crushed.

The light on the pumpkin began to slowly dim. It was so beautiful when it was with us, and now took on a different beauty as it faded. But as it grew fainter, a small shape was shining way above us in the dark sky. The shape was star like and as it grew closer we all sat transfixed. Marcella was leaning into my side, while Boone whinnied softly at the fence. As the shining object approached, it's shape grew fluffier, like a clump of snowflakes. The light it created was even brighter than what the giant pumpkin had emanated, but this light felt softer even though it wasn't touching me.

The shape seemed to gravitate immediately to me, and all eyes were locked in my direction, breathless–except Rosie, who I could hear snoring. And then the soft shape suspended itself by the side of my face, near my cheekbone, holding itself up in mid air exactly parallel to my skin so it felt like my cheek was resting on…a sheep.

I heard a distinctive bleat of a sheep.

"Floyd? Floyd? Is it you?"
I asked, my voice shaky.

The soft orb dissipated.

Just a day and a half before all this, the vet had shaved off some of Floyd's neck wool in order to insert the IV of medicine that would carry him off on his final earthly journey. I had picked up that clump of wool and buried it with Floyd. But the morning after our night of magic, I found it again, sitting on Floyd's grave, with the giant pumpkin looking on.