A blue old ghost story

Website design By BotEap.comMany moons ago and far, far away (well, not so far … he was in the Gold Coast hinterland) he lived in a barn on a farm and cared for a motley group of animals. There were bulls (like the well-endowed Henry) and his harem of girls, but my favorites were the horses. There was Beau (a beautiful big chestnut), Molly (a crafty old circus pony who could count to six on her hooves) the king. Widge (amazing bloodline) and Blue (who I affectionately referred to as “Old Man Blue” or “Bluey“).

Website design By BotEap.comOld Blue was old. I mean very, very old … at least 30 summers to his credit. He was white and bony (but he ate like a horse and was dewormed and all, so he was born that way, you understand?). He was a loner and did not like other horses very much and was irritable with chronic sinusitis. He was easily scared. He didn’t like a lot of people either, but he tolerated me … probably because he was holding the food bucket. In the winter time, when it was cold, cold, cold and the morning frost bit like a Kilkenny cat, Old Blue wore an especially warm blanket over his rickety old body. Every night when the sun was dissipating, I would put the blanket on her, adjust the strap under her belly, and straighten it to make sure it fit.

Website design By BotEap.comBut every morning, just as the sun rose through the fog, I saw Bluey with her blanket twisted upside down, with the buckles on her back. “Damn … that blanket,” he muttered as he got out, tugged, and spun back into position. It was hard work. He seemed to want to stay that way and it was a struggle to get him back in position. Weeks went by. And we were all happy in that isolated little place called paradise. But one dark moonlit night, a great storm formed threateningly on the horizon. I quickly surrounded the animals, fed them, and put the blankets on them. “Keep your blanket tight tonight Bluey“I said.

Website design By BotEap.comThat night he howled and howled, lightning flashed and thunder rumbled. The animals were restless and so was I. A huge tarantula (without exaggeration, it was as big as a plate of food) had crawled into the stable and sat next to me on the couch to comfort me, its hairy legs moving with every bolt and applause from the heavens. “Just keep your distance, Great Friend, and you can stay, otherwise, I’m going to fight you outside,” I warned him. Another flash and a boom that shook the barn made me jump and head for the door. I grabbed my whip with a mixture of fear and defiance and strode out, daring the heavens to strike me. It was wild out there … the animals were going crazy.

Website design By BotEap.comThere was a flash of lightning and I could see Bluey motionless … completely alone … in the middle of the meadow and his blanket now (of course and unsurprisingly) face down. Boom! The thunder made me jump. FLASH! For a split second I saw Bluey again, but this time someone was standing next to him. An old man in a plaid flannel shirt. THAT … ????? BOOM! The storm held its breath … and so did I. It was very, very quiet and very, very dark. WHAM! Another flash. And there it was Bluey… still … all alone. Everything was starting to get a little creepy. “I’m going back to the barn with my old friend Big Fella,” I thought. Like a coward, I backed off as fast as I could, but Big Fella was missing (no doubt lurking somewhere dark and crack) so I only had myself for company. The night and the storm passed. It was a very, very long night. The next morning I went out and there was Bluey standing in the middle of the meadow as he had seen him the night before. As I walked over to him ready to fix his blanket, I stopped in my tracks and my heart skipped a beat. His blanket was sitting perfectly.

Website design By BotEap.comA few months later, when the stormy night had turned into nothing more than a blurry memory, I was visited by an old woman who lived on a nearby farm. We were just casually chatting (like you) when she began to remember the old man who lived on the property before I moved there. “It was a bit lonely,” he said. “Poor coot … died of a heart attack right there in the barn.” We were silent for a few moments. “You know he was a horse whisperer …” she said “… he could make them do anything.” Right at that moment, Old Blue had decided to wander our way. “That …” he said pointing to Bluey “… that was his favorite.”

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