We were sittin’ in the livin’ room, the forest all about proper dark, when we heard a wild racket and a rickety-crickety commotion coming from out the garden way.
Natalia said, “Somethin’s a bugger in the old pumpkin patch, da.”
So I went to the library on the lowest level of the cottage and threw on my duster and old tall, wide-brimmed hat. I stuffed my bowie into my belt and took my musket from the wall. I poured a pinch of powder down the barrel and packed in a wadded ball, then opened the lower door into the deep, dark night of the enchanted wood.
Natalia came behind me, and happened to grab my camera, perchance to catch a shot of a deer.
Into the eerie dark we went, through the Old Garden where fat leeks grow, but the rickety-crickety racket was from further on. Through the New Garden we passed, where tall, bare stalks of corn a-rustled and a-rasped in the ebon breeze ‘neath a silvery quarter moon. But still the racket came from farther on.
“Somethin’s a bugger in the old pumpkin patch, da,” Natalia said again, her voice silky flat and eyes refectin’ a flame, for not far down yonder hidden gully a’tween two hillocks, pushing up against a hedge of woods we espied a bright bonfire betwixt and between yon old pumpkin patch.
And there he stood, Ol’ Lord Jack his-self, all a-speakin’ and a-chantin’, a-callin’ up eerie tunes and fine spells while around him the pumpkins yet vined bowed to the Pumpkin Lord, and shadow-fey spirits danced round flame and lord alike.
Natalia, just behind me, said, “Somethin’s a bugger in the old pumpkin patch, da,” and pressed the camera’s shutter.
And here be what she caught . . .