A Ghostly Morning Concert{19}

Farm house night

As summer says sayonara to the Pacific Northwest, the sun begins to limit its appearance daily by minutes. In June, when I bound out of bed at 5 a.m., every ray of light is eagerly on the scene, and every songbird is heralding a new day; but now, when my feet hit the floor, darkness and silence prevail.

As I trundle downstairs to make coffee and plan my day, Gracie stakes claim to the entire bed, disappearing in the comforter folds like a loosely-wrapped bulldog burrito. Coffee cup in hand, computer on, darkness at my door, I am ready to face the world, but before I can type a word, the oddest sound resonates within earshot—a hollow eerie tapping sound, like fingernails on a window.

I live in a century-old farmhouse, so the first reasonable place I go is “ghosts.” Yep, a little morning mischief from Casper and friends, surely. I stand up to investigate further, but after taking two steps, the sound ceases. I enter the kitchen, nothing. I tiptoe into the dining room, nada. I listen upstairs to hear if it’s Gracie’s need-to-be-trimmed nails striking against the fir floorboards. Silence. So back I go to my nook, cold coffee and plans for world domination.

Within seconds of my backside hitting the captain’s chair, the ghostly prattle resumes. I now notice a musicality about it, almost xylophonic like my ghost has assembled a steel drum band. Up I go again to find the source of this unsettling pre-dawn concert. Upstairs, downstairs, porches, closets, pantries, and drawers, I canvass them all, but the specters mock me with stillness.

I decide to ignore the on-again, off-again ghostly prattle and continue my morning ritual, though spouting, “Enough!” every once in a while just to let the band members know, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”

Hours later, I come back in from the greenhouse to feed Gracie who is now awake and demanding breakfast (uh, make that brunch). In the pantry, I pop the lid a small galvanized garbage can I use to store dog food. Peering up at me from the bottom of the can is a rather handsome field mouse, one straight out of Disney central casting. “Ah, so you’re my ghost,” I say. Then, as if on cue, my little topo gigio circles the can for a less muted, more bombastic command performance. “Bravo! Bravo!” I cheer, before releasing him to the wilds, my mystery now solved.

You may think this story is over, but there’s just a bit more to share. Days later, I was about to bribe Gracie with a treat, when I reached into a biscuit box, only to pull up two milk bones and a mouse. Yep, he was back. Good thing I don’t have a heart condition, because realizing one of the dog biscuits in your hand is covered in fur and squirming for freedom can really get your circulation going and the mouse flying.

"Let me entertain you..."

“Let me entertain you…”