Out here in corn country there is a legend that the ghosts of all the children lost in the corn fields come out at night and roam the rows, crying piteously. Probably rattling fences, and shaking corn stalks together. Though no-one I talk to can remember a child getting actually lost in the corn fields. Everybody’s grandmother was full of dreadful stories.
I think that this legend was preached loudly by mothers terrified of their children wandering off and losing their way in the fields. Using fear to make sure they stay in the yard. Much like my mother telling us that sharks came in close to shore to feed at night to prevent us from skinny dipping in the sea after dark. And the Maori grandmothers spoke of Taniwha in the deepest fastest parts of the rivers, and the worst riptides on the beaches. (The presence of a Taniwha is treated with huge respect in New Zealand because there is a lot more to the taniwha legends than meets the eye. They are not ghosts. The Maori people of New Zealand have an oral history. And in my memory of these stories the Taniwha bears an uncanny resemblance to a dragon).
Though I did not use these old terror stories, I did hear myself giving the children a serious lecture about ONLY going into the corn field with an adult and if you get lost Stay where you are and call out and if you have to walk do Not cross the rows. Walk to the end of your row and you will come out somewhere.
And then very slowly, holding hands and almost tip toeing we fed ourselves through the wardrobe of corn stalks and into the dim hushed under world of the corn field.
We simply sat in there for a long time. And talked quietly, then without realising it we all fell into a quietness, just breathing and listening. Completely enclosed in huge corn stalks. The dogs, Miss A, Mr N and Kristy from Eat,Play,Love and I.
This is not their first visit. They are getting to be old hands helping with the animals. But Kristy told me this is the first time she has stepped into the depths of a corn field. Her grandmother had forbidden her when she was little. Told her stories of the ghost children. And that rule had stayed – lodged. We all survived though and came out smiling.
They helped me shift the chickens into their new home. The stock trailer (sometimes called the Black Mariah). It is has a nice happy job now. It is draft free in there and the chicks are warm with their light but I hope they were OK. Though big birds now, with feathers and everything, it was in the 50’s last night. I shall pop out when the sun comes up and check them.
Miss A and her rabbly troops.
Good morning. Kristy held the camera for me while I emptied the pig’s water bucket and could not resist a shot of miss c. I know you can only see five. but There are six piglets in this shot. Can you see number 6? Think dreadlocks!
We had a great day as you can imagine. Adult company for me and dog company for the young ones. Fantastic pizzas. Interestingly Kristy told me that Miss A has only begun to eat eggs since she came here and gathered them from the chook house herself last time. When she was picking with her bowl in the gardens yesterday she was eating (with permission) the tiny grape tomatoes. Later she asked her mother if maybe this is what big tomatoes tasted like? Yes, said her mother. Do you want to try one? Sure. Said the little girl. I might like them now. So there you are. The magic of the vegetable garden!
It is going to be clear and sunny here again today. But it is still cool. In fact the swimming pool is steaming. I can see its misty fingers sifting into the sunrise.
Have a lovely day.
Your friend, celi