It was a crisp fall evening when the whole horrifying story came crashing
back into my mind like the filthy water in a backed up toilet rising in slow
motion as you struggle to shut off the valve before it overflows onto the floor.
Onto your life. My wife, my two
children and I were wandering around the Topsfield Fall Fair enjoying the remnants of an Indian Summer, eating cotton
candy and taking in the sights. Everything was lovely until we wandered inside
the Agricultural Pavilion and came unexpectedly on the Giant Pumpkin
It had been many years since I'd even thought of the murders, but the sight
of those bloated, deformed squash brought it all back in an instant. I
felt the hair on the back of my neck start to prickle and a chill ran up my
spine. Instinctively, I gathered my family close and led them from the
building without a word. As we walked away I was quiet, lost in my
thoughts. I could leave the giant pumpkins behind, but I would never
completely escape the memories.
'The Giant Pumpkin Murders', as the newspapers referred to the story, occurred almost
25 years ago, back when I was a kid growing up in Falmouth on
Mayflower Lane. The
kids of Mayflower Lane and I had an idyllic childhood there on Cape Cod, summers on
the beach: sailing down in Woods Hole and winters ice skating on the frozen cranberry
bogs. Our church
had a tall white steeple and our school had a bell in a tower just off the
village green. The five homes that faced Mayflower Lane each housed a nice young family with kids.
In those halcyon days we roamed everywhere
together, a little pack of rosy cheeked ruffians. Well, at least some of
us were rosy cheeked, Caleb's family was pure English, dating back to the
Pilgrims, but Jenny Bergman was a fascinating mix of Chinese and Swede,
and Cheech Gonsalves was from a Cape Verdean family that had been
fishing the waters off Falmouth since the 1800's.
For me the most special of my special friends was
Elliot Camarra, who was the toughest tomboy New England had produced since
Katharine Hepburn. I called her Ellie and, to her eternal chagrin, she
bore the burden of an almost uncanny beauty, a shimmering vision of clear
perfect skin and unmistakable pale golden hair. It was many years later that
I realized that I had fallen in love with Ellie from the first time I laid eyes
on her. The only rings I've ever given any woman have all been to her,
beginning with that silly butterfly ring that I won throwing baseballs at the
fair one year and slipped onto Ellie's finger in childish mockery of courtly
love. I was too young and too ignorant to even understand the significance
when that silly ring never left her finger that summer, even after it started
turning her finger green as the salt water slowly leached it free of silver.
All in all, it was a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, and
Mayflower Lane was at the sweet wholesome core of it all. Or at least it
was, until the Clowes mansion down at the end of the street finally sold after
almost a decade on the market. The Clowes place was a classic too in its own way. A spooky
old house with Victorian gables and turrets, and a huge basement that was
rumored to have secret rooms and tunnels. Dr. Clowes built it for his new
wife back around the turn of the century, but she died giving birth to their
first child, right there in the house. After that the doctor never came
back and the place sat idle for years. The climate on the Cape is rough on
structures and a house that isn't maintained goes downhill pretty quickly.
By the time the doctor died, the old mansion was already headed downhill, and
after more years of neglect from the Boston medical school that inherited the property,
it had degenerated so much that none of us thought it was livable anymore. That's why we were surprised when one day a big yellow moving van
arrived and began unloading furniture.
You'd think that a spooky old house like that would be irresistible to a pack
of kids like us, but there was something uninviting about the place. I
mean, we snuck in on a dare once in awhile, enough to satisfy our curiosity, but
it just wasn't the kind of place that was fun to hang out in. I mean the
young wife died there and after that, the old doctor just walked away and never looked back.
Now animals had run of the house and it sort of stunk of neglect.
The new owners showed up at night and it was a few weeks before we even got a
glimpse of them. We came to learn that they were from Lithuania.
Bernice, was the mother and her twenty-something son was called Edvard.
They didn't speak English very well and weren't
particularly fond of children. Most of this was learned on the one formal
"Welcome to the neighborhood," visit that my mother organized.
She baked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and made Ashley and me dress up to
accompany her. Dad boycotted the whole thing, though I could tell he would
be interested in hearing all about it when we got back.
The three of us marched down Mayflower Lane and straight up onto their
doorsteps. There wasn't a doorbell or a knocker, so mom just rapped her
knuckles against the weather-beaten wood door. After awhile we heard
shuffling and the door creaked open to reveal two pale hunched over gnomes,
Edvard and Bernice. At first glimpse it was difficult to even tell them
apart as they were the same height, wore the same shapeless bathrobes and had
the same gray wrinkled skin. Edvard was a short, thick, fellow with powerful
looking arms and an odd absent smile etched on his face. Bernice looked ancient
to us kids, a squat menacing crone who shuffled when she walked, as though her
feet couldn't quite clear the floor. They both looked shocked to
see us and there was a long moment of stunned silence before Bernice twisted her
face into some approximation of a smile and motioned us to come
The room had some heavy oak furniture positioned here and there, and a threadbare Turkish rug lay rumpled on the
floor. There was no
apparent sense or artistry to the arrangements. Mom offered the cookies to Bernice who
led us into the kitchen where we found a huge antique wood burning stove that was
clearly in daily use and a small table with two chairs. Bernice
elaborately seated Ashley and me at the table and presented us each with a glass
of water and one of mom's cookies. She and mom remained standing and
Edvard was nowhere to be seen. While we ate our cookies, Bernice showed
mom her canning operation, beginning with the huge tub that served as a kitchen
sink and ending when she opened the door to a large pantry and displayed a wall
of glass jars containing pickled pigs knuckles, head cheese, smoked eels,
homemade blood sausage and
other culinary oddities. She confided in us that back in 'the old
country,' she had been a butcher. She'd been the only woman butcher in Vilnius, their home
Bernice was obviously very proud of her macabre
collection, but I couldn't help thinking of the formaldehyde filled specimen
jars containing deep sea fish and squid down at the oceanographic aquarium. I
think Ashley felt the same way because she kicked me under the table and
wrinkled her nose in that way she had of letting me know she wasn't happy.
I kicked her back and we started to tussle until mom grabbed us both and, after
some hasty goodbyes, marched us out of the house. Once we hit the front
lawn, she relaxed her grip and I got the feeling she was glad we'd given her an
excuse to get out of that place. Ashley made a mean comment about Edvard
on the way home, but Mom told her that he had Down's Syndrome and that even
though he looked different, it didn't mean that he wasn't a nice man.
In the days that followed, we noticed that Edvard and Bernice didn't come out much during the day. Edvard made one
each afternoon down to the mailbox and back. The first few
times he made his mailbox runs, the other kids and I tagged along, as kids will,
trying to make conversation and satisfy our curiosity at the same time.
Edvard was a sphinx however and he never even acknowledged our presence.
The only time we ever saw him show any emotion was the day his pumpkin seeds
One afternoon in May, Edvard's trip to the mailbox almost literally, bore
fruit. Our little gang of kids had just gotten home from school and when
the bus dumped us at the stop, we saw that Edvard was already standing at the
mailbox. Usually he returned empty handed and sour faced, but today he had
a large cardboard box grasped in his strong hands and an almost angelically
innocent smile of pure joy spreading across his thick face. As we
approached him, he looked up at us and blurted, "My Seeds! My seeds,
they're here." He thrust his parcel towards us as if to prove his point
beyond the shadow of a doubt. The box was tied with twine and wrapped in
brown butcher paper. Where it had torn on a corner, we could see a flash
of orange and the words "Giant Pumpkin," in creepy Halloween lettering.
The following days confirmed what we suspected for our encounter with
Edvard's mysterious package. Early the next morning, he was out in the yard
in an unprecedented flurry of activity as he vigorously turned over the soil in a
large circle in the middle of the yard in front of the Clowes mansion. The
stooped little man was surprisingly strong and we watched as he lugged sacks of
compost and manure up from the basement and began to prepare a raised bed of the
richest soil. He finished this mysterious procedure by laying a huge cargo
net over the circle, then covering the entire area with fresh hay. Nothing
happened for a few days, while the newly fascinating Mr. Edvard waited. For
On the morning after what Dad called a Blue Moon, Eddie
planted his seeds with all the ritual normally accorded a religious
event. He first brought a five gallon bucket of worm casings and
created little mounds, as if he were building a sand castle. Then he
returned to the house and came back cradling a tiny pumpkin seedling that he had
started indoors using a heating pad like an incubator to protect the young plants
and accelerate their growth. With a tubular bulb planting tool, he made a hole
for the seedling and gingerly settled it into its place. To complete the
job, he stuck his index finger straight down into the soil making a long skinny
hole. He dropped a single fresh anchovy into each hole, then tamped the
soil, and watered it using an old galvanized watering can.
What ever we had initially thought about the old man was now replaced by a
sense of awe. He might be weird looking, but he sure knew how to grow a
gourd. Edvard seemed suddenly to invite our visits, and within a week he
had gone from being "that scary dude at the end of the street," to our
friend and gardening partner Eddie. Elliot led the charge here as, for
some reason she'd liked him from the beginning. Every
day most of us kids visited the gourd garden, finding an odd delight in the
rapidly growing pumpkin vines.
The summer passed too quickly as all summers do when you're young. We
squandered the warm days on the beach or playing in the marsh, always followed
by an afternoon visit to the pumpkin patch to see how our giant pumpkins were
doing. As the gourds grew from baseballs, to basketballs to beachballs and
beyond, Eddie pruned them one by one, reducing the number of remaining
candidates with an eye towards the one with greatest potential. I felt a little
twinge of sadness as my favorites fell by the wayside, but after each one was
removed the rest seemed to grow even faster.
All was well, until the day that Jenny went missing. One afternoon, she
drifted off from the rest of the kids and then she was gone. Just plain
gone. She didn't come back that night, or the next morning either.
By then the adults had already called the local police and a search team plowed
through the poison ivy and bull briar with their flashlights for half the
night. But they didn't find anything. Not a single trace.
We were more or less in shock at that point. Life came to a complete
halt on Mayflower Lane for the first week, then we all had to go back to school,
and the parents, except for Jenny's mom had to go back to work. Slowly we
began to go through the motions of normalcy
As Halloween approached, we drew on that inner strength children have and
began to forget for whole minutes at a time that our friend was gone. The
parents of course, were feeling extra protective, and restricted us to the
length of Mayflower Lane. They also admonished us to stay together, in
effect almost throwing us into Eddie's front yard as the default meeting place.
Eddie didn't seem to really understand the gravity of Jenny's disappearance.
As we had come to know him, he no longer seemed dumb at all to us. In fact
if the subject was pumpkins, he was a veritable encyclopedia of semi-coherent
wisdom. He tried to speak too fast and sort of tripped over himself in a
wicked stutter when he got to talking pumpkins, but it was clear that he knew
what he was talking about. When the subject of Jenny came up, he just sort of lost
interest and wandered away to play with his plants.
At first Eddie's pumpkin was big, then it was very big, and then it was giant. Throughout the late summer
it was putting on weight at such a rate that you could almost see the monster
growing. Eddie told us that at this stage the pumpkin could gain as much
as thirty pounds a day, which for some of the littler kids was a third of their
total weight! The single huge pumpkin that remained as the sole candidate
not only got bigger, but it began to change shape. The fleshy orange blob
morphed as it grew from anything remotely resembling a symmetrical
"Cinderella's Carriage" kind of a pumpkin into something stranger and
more malevolent entirely. On one side it developed a large round pustule
with fat shoulders that from one angle looked just like a small head and
shoulders, a kids-sized head, bent over as if it were laying over a desk with
its arms cradling it in a nap. The effect was uncanny in the yellow light
of a late fall afternoon. The night we all noticed it was the same night
that Caleb disappeared.
Caleb was right there with the rest of us as we said goodbye to Eddie and
headed back down Mayflower Lane. We were planning to go play in the
basement of Ellie's house, but by the time we arrived and settled in, Caleb was
gone. Ellie raced up the stairs to report this development to her Mom and Dad
and, within a few minutes parents began to emerge from all the houses on our
street at once. Eddie was still in his yard putting the green tarp over
the giant pumpkin to protect it from the frost. When the adults all
accosted him with their questions, he quickly became confused and stubbornly refused to talk at all. Bernice, who had heard the commotion, emerged from
the house and stepped in front of Eddie with her hands on her hips and a tough
glare in her eyes. "Where's my little boy," asked Caleb's
dad. Bernice turned sharply to Eddie and spat the question to him in a guttural
Lithuanian snarl. Eddie seemed to calm down as he looked into her
eyes. He shrugged his shoulders in a universal gesture and softly replied
to Bernice in their native tongue. She in turn faced Caleb's father and
said firmly, "He don't know. He saw him leave with the others."
There was a brief moment of electric tension in the small mob of Mayfair Lane
parents, as if, emboldened by each other's presence, they considered pressing
the issue into violence. But neither Eddie nor Bernice moved a muscle, and
after a bit, we heard somebody's phone ring, and Caleb's parents walked away to meet the
police cruiser that had pulled into the Lane. The group disbanded to begin
searching vainly around the neighborhood. Like Jenny, Caleb was just plain
Ellie, went missing the evening before the truck
arrived to load the bloated pumpkin for transport to the Topsfield Giant
Pumpkin contest. None of the children had been allowed outside without an
adult accompanying them since Caleb had disappeared. Everybody on
Mayflower Lane was more or less terrified during their waking hours. The
very air we breathed began to feel heavy and oppressive, as if even the act of
breathing made you feel exhausted. Somehow, we all knew that there was
more to come before this nightmare was over and when Ellie failed to come down
from her room that morning, we were already too scared to be surprised. Several
families had packed up some clothes and moved into hotels in town, as much to
get away from the horror of seeing our normal surroundings in that horrible
Searchers had been scouring the area in ever expanding circles looking for
signs of a struggle, torn clothing, or even, though no one wanted to admit it,
bodies. Nothing like
this had ever happened in Falmouth before and a grim panic had seized the town.
There was a team of detectives already on Mayflower Lane when the truck arrived to load Edvard's giant
pumpkin. Without even intending it, the whole group of us somehow gathered
around as Raz Parker backed his flatbed up close to the bulbous squash and
positioned the A-frame crane over it. We were all at a loss, stunned and horrified
at the magnitude of what had occurred. We'd searched everywhere
in the vicinity over and over, and at this point, there seemed less chance that
looking yet again behind the houses or in the salt marsh would yield a new,
Raz and Eddie pulled up the corners of the
cargo net under the pumpkin and clipped them into the dangling hook of the crane. Once
the cable began to tighten, the conversations stopped and we all turned toward the
groaning hoist as it began to bear the full weight of the giant pumpkin.
"It's a big un" Raz muttered, watching the rear springs and shocks
compressing under the load. For a brief moment, the success of the
operation seemed in doubt. The front end of the truck rose up on its
suspension and, implausibly, we could see light under the front tires. The
winch was squealing in agony as the pumpkin rose off the ground. The
combination of the cargo net and the matted hay cushioned the giant pumpkin but
distorted it even more than normal, but it rose without breaking until it was
high enough to rotate over onto the flatbed truck.
What happened next is open to some speculation. Whatever the exact
sequence of events, it all happened very fast and nobody had the time to do
anything other than what they did. I was standing next to the my dad, with
the truck between us and the pumpkin, so I couldn't see the ground at all.
My father was taller, so maybe he got a better look. All I know is that
suddenly, Mr. Gonsalves and Caleb's dad both saw something that made them
jump. They both lurched towards the swinging pumpkin at the same time, but
Mr. Gonsalves held back and made a futile grab at Caleb's dad who ripped himself
free and literally dove under the pumpkin to grab something off the
ground. We all heard the sound of the manila cargo net parting in a dusty explosion of dry
rot as it dropped the thousand pound gourd squarely on
Caleb's father's back. The man was crushed in an instant beneath the
horrible orange mass. The sickening crack of splintering bones reached our
ears almost simultaneously with the dull moist explosion as the vegetable contacted
It took almost an hour to get Caleb's father out from under the giant
pumpkin. The misshapen gourd had burst when it hit the ground, flattening
out into an irregular flat blot of orange pulp. Caleb's dad was trapped
underneath the thick outer skin of the vegetable and they had to hack through
six inches of fleshy rind to get to him. The paramedics told us that he
was almost certainly killed instantaneously beneath the weight, but one of the
cops later told Mr. Gonsalves over a beer that there were signs he'd struggled
for awhile before succumbing. One thing for sure was that, when they
finally pulled him free, his right hand was clenched firmly around a long hank
of yellow blond hair that we all immediately recognized could only have come from Ellie.
The police handcuffed Eddie right there at the scene and took him away in a
cruiser as we all watched in stunned silence. Bernice had appeared on the
porch at some point, but she didn't even offer a protest as they led Eddie
away. With her hands set firmly on her broad hips she glared at all of us
and shook her head slowly from side to side.
I couldn't sleep, nobody could sleep. Sleep seemed like a foreign country that night.
I rose from bed and slipped into my clothes on autopilot. I can't
remember consciously thinking of going outside., but I was, suddenly
outside. I thought briefly about turning around, but I was too agitated to
stay still, and besides, the police had Eddie locked in a cell, and amazingly,
unbelievable, but undeniably, he was the monstrous author of all our
nightmares. Dad had gotten a call from the Falmouth District Attorney that
evening asking him to appear at Eddie's arraignment the next morning.
They'd dug up the soil around the pumpkin and found small bones, tissue and
hair. Of course the coroner would need to confirm that these horrible
remains matched those of the missing children, but they were pretty damned
sure that they'd gotten their man. The nightmare was over.
"So, Mayfair Lane was safe again," I thought absently to myself as I strolled to
the front of the house. My young mind couldn't get a grasp on the entirety
of the events. My friends were dead, gone forever and our gardening pal
Eddie was responsible. It was beyond reckoning, but the adults all said it
was true. Mayfair Lane was safe again, he'd heard the DA say it himself
when Dad put it on the speaker phone to calm them all down.
Without thinking I was drawn like a moth to flame towards Eddie's pumpkin patch. I wasn't thinking anymore, just acting on raw instinct as I pushed
the iron gate aside and stepped into the yard of the Clowes place. It was a dark
night, the new moon just a sliver above the trees. I remember wondering
dully if Edvard had waited for this night to harvest his pumpkin, the way he'd
waited for the Blue Moon to plant it. I decided he probably had, and I was
immediately hit with a wave of nausea as I suddenly remembered the way we all
listened rapt at his excited stuttering rants on the fine points of growing
giant pumpkins. I knew I was going to be sick as it occurred to me that he
should have mentioned his unique notions of the best fertilizer for his obscene
When I finished retching I was distracted by a light in Bernice's
kitchen. She couldn't sleep either I was sure. It was asking too
much to try and feel any pity for her after what had happened today, but I
realized in a thick witted way that she'd lost someone too. Perhaps the
notion of consoling her in some way passed through my mind, or maybe it was
something else entirely, but the next thing I knew, I was heading resolutely
towards her back door and the light that now flooded her kitchen. When I
reached the stairs, I hesitated a moment, then, following whatever crazed notion
had led me this far, I marched up the stairs without even trying to be
quiet. I positioned myself squarely at her door and rapped my fist against
the oaken doorframe.
There was no response. Not a whisper from within, even though the
kitchen was lit up as bright as day. I knew she had to be there, because
I'd seen her moving just moments before. She'd turned on the light for
chrissakes! She had to be there. I don't know what I'd expected to come of
this ill-advised quest, but this surely wasn't it. I knocked louder,
shuffling nervously from foot to foot in my anxiety. There wasn't a sound
coming from the house and in a sudden fit of pique ending my indecision, I
turned abruptly towards the stairs only to plow into the surprisingly soft bosom
I let out a shriek and backpedaled crazily as my feet flew out from under me
and I landed flat on my back before her. The old crone bent over me
menacingly for a moment then slowly extended her gnarled paw towards me.
"Come," she said, "Come inside for drink." She hauled
me to my feet, and without loosening her iron grip on my wrist, she pulled me
through the oak door into her kitchen. She half drug, half guided me to a
chair on the far end of table, skillfully positioning herself between me and the
door. I could almost feel her watching me through the narrow slits of her
eyelids as she shuffled around going through the motions of pouring me a glass
She slapped the glass down on the table and I watched fascinated as the white
liquid slopped from side to side. What was I doing here?
"Drink," she urged, "Milk. Fresh." She made an almost gentle
motion with her arthritic hand, and I raised the glass to my lips like an
automaton. The thought came to me that it might be drugged, and I tried to
make the motions of drinking without swallowing, an almost hopeless
As my head tilted back in a fake drink, the blood froze in my veins and I
felt my body go numb. My wandering panicked eyes were scanning the wall of glass
canning jars in the pantry when a glint of silver caught a fleck of light and
drew a second look. My stomach heaved involuntarily for the second time that
night as I recognized the design of Ellie's butterfly ring wrapped snugly around
the gray flesh of a human finger amongst the pickled meat in the jar.
My ears pounded, and I felt a flush of terrified heat spread up my chest and
across my face. Oddly, I couldn't feel my feet or arms. The world
felt like it was moving in slow motion and as Bernice approached I couldn't even
rise to move away from her. She knew I'd seen that ghastly artifact and I
knew that random glance had sealed my fate. She clamped her bony claw
around my wrist again and pulled me toward the basement door with a superhuman
In the end it was just a fluke of human nature that saved me. Some
twisted moment of obscene cruelty that burbled to the cortex of Bernice's broken
mind at the right instant in time. That, and a desperate instinctual flailing grab at
survival on my part. Bernice stopped just before the basement door and
turned to stare at me with a malevolent glare that still haunts my
nightmares. She turned to the pantry and reached up on the shelf to grab
the glass jar containing Ellie's finger and ring. She held it in front of
my terrified eyes and began to laugh at a private joke as yet unspoken.
"Pigs knuckles," she said, her foul breath wrapping itself like a
shroud around my face. As I watched her laugh in my face, I suddenly knew
that I wanted to live, I needed to live. I needed to change this evil
program and make it come out better. I just couldn't let it end this way.
She slid the jar back onto the counter and reached for the cut glass knob
on the basement door. She took her eyes off me for an instant as she
fiddled with the door lock and it was just time enough for a miracle. With
a strength I didn't know I had, I snatched the heavy glass jar off the counter
with my free hand and swung it like a hammer into her forehead as she turned
back towards me. The hydraulic force of the liquid and flesh in the jar
caused it to explode in a cloud of blood and glass and meat. Bernice went
down in a heap, pulling the basement door wide as she fell. A thick
spreading pool of dark blood rolled like a wave across the kitchen tiles.
For one small instant of perfect unreality it was perfectly quiet in the
kitchen. Then from the bottom of the dark stairs I heard a soft mmphing
sound. I saw a light switch on the wall and, after checking that Bernice
was still out cold, I flipped the switch and slowly descended the stairs.
I saw Ellie's terrified face as I got to the bottom. She was in a
cage-like room in the corner bound and gagged and her wrists were clipped to a hook in the ceiling.
There was blood on her arms, and she was barely
she was alive. Joyously wonderfully alive. The only sign of Jenny and
Caleb was a pile of rumpled, but recognizable, clothes tossed carelessly against
the cold stone wall. Within a few seconds I had freed my helpless Ellie and we were up
the stairs and out of that hell house forever.
When the police arrived, Bernice was still on the floor, wallowing in her own
evil blood. The wound I'd given her was more superficial than serious and
by the time her trial date came up, there was only a thin white scar to remind
her of the worst decision she'd ever made. The Judge gave her three
concurrent life sentences, so she'll have a long time to think it over
carefully, and consider over and over again where she'd gone wrong.
They let Eddie go once Ellie told them how he'd tried to help her when
Bernice drug her across the yard ripping that lucky lock of blond hair from her
head. That struggle had ended by leaving the telltale hank of Ellie's hair on the ground
by the pumpkin. He'd woken up and gone to check his pumpkin when he saw
his mother dragging Ellie towards the house. Without thinking, he'd tried
to wrest Ellie from his mother's grasp only to have her fling him into the fence,
knocking him out cold.
He'd seen his mother in the pumpkin patch at night burying her grim carnage, and was
horrified, but unsure what to do or who to tell. The psychiatrist at his hearing
said he had the intelligence of a five year old child, but he showed the
courage of an adult. As it turned out, Eddie had suffered a lifetime of abuse and was as much Bernice's victim of as the rest of us.
He'd spent his entire life in Bernice's cages.
Eddie settled back into the Clowes place and quietly lived out the few
remaining years of his short sad life on Mayflower Lane. He didn't grow any more pumpkins, which was probably a good thing all
The sun was setting over the Topsfield Fall Fair as we
threaded our way back through the crowd towards the car. My memories were
less of a torment than they once were, and I rarely had nightmares
anymore. In fact, absent some reminder like the giant pumpkins tonight, I
went months at a time without thinking about the whole thing. Well, weeks
anyway I thought as I held my wife's hand in mine and gently caressed the smooth
stub of her finger and traced the thin wire outline of the butterfly ring
- An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
- Ef you
- Courtesy James Whitcomb Riley (1849 -
1916), and Lady Lo
For the record, this is my first attempt ever at a "skeery story,"
and it was kind of fun. It was that rascal Poopsie who forced
me to kill off the two children. Many thanks to Ouroboros, Lometa, Momomom,
C-Dawg and Chras4 for editing assistance and moral support. Boo!