It was ‘round midnight October 30. In a few minutes, Halloween would commence. Daddy took me for my midnight poop. Where we live is always quiet at night. We are surrounded by the elderly who are fast asleep hours before our late night sojourn. It is rare to see a soul.
We were a hundred feet from our home. We had just passed the crossroads when we heard the most terrible grunting and snorting. Was it some wild animal? We have seen deer and turkeys running in the moonlight. But this sound could only be made by a wild boar or a mad human.
Daddy turned and looked down the western crossroad. He saw a figure, slowly moving forward, grunting and snorting, moving his hands in front of him, parting the air, like he was doing the butterfly stroke. He was certainly not a resident, and who would be walking in our neighborhood at night when all the residents were asleep? Could it be the lopper?
“Don’t say anything,” Daddy said to me.
“Woof, woof, woof, woof,” I said. Sorry, instinct!
The lopper turned towards us, and then slowly walked, snorting, grunting, and stumbling, like the undead. Daddy reached in his pocket for his phone thinking about calling mommy, but there was no time. The lopper was ten feet away and closing. “Can I ask you a question?” he growled.
When you meet a grunting, snarling creature near midnight on the day before Halloween, you never want to be asked a question. It could be “Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?” It could be “Why so serious?” it could be “do you mind if eat your brains?” or “Have you ever been lopped by the lopper?”
Daddy told him he could. I stepped behind him to protect his rear and keep him between me and the lopper. “How do I get out of here?” the lopper asked.
Daddy told him to turn around, take a left at the end of the street, to keep following and he would come to the main road. The lopper thanked him, said his name was Chris, he had gone out to get some cigarettes, decided to visit his grandmother, and got lost. He thanked Daddy and began walking towards the exit.
We walked 20 feet away. Daddy wanted to keep plenty of room between us and the lopper. When we turned around, he was gone.
We hurried home, and Daddy told Mommy the strange tale.
Halloween night, at midnight, we were back outside, under the moonlight, passing the crossroad. We stopped where we had met the lopper. It was 120 feet from home. Daddy realized that the night before when we moved 20 feet away from the lopper, he should have been 80 feet before the curve in the road, and still visible.
Also, our neighborhood is not hard to navigate, there is no place within a mile to get cigarettes, and it is doubtful he was visiting his grandmother because our pack is the only souls awake in the park that late at night.
A question whispered through the trees. Was it real? Or was he a lost soul, since departed, pushing through the dimensions, snorting in frustration, looking for his way to the Bridge, and his grandmother, who was waiting? A chill passed through us both. Was it an encounter with a strange human or with a spirit in the night?
Mommy thinks the lopper story is just a couple of overactive imaginations run amok. But every time we go out at night, our eyes and ears are open for the return of the lopper. He is still out there, when it gets dark, grunting and snorting, looking for his grandmother and the way home.
If you go out, with only the pale moon to light your way, and hear snorting and grunting, watch out for the lopper looking to get home.