Volume 11, Issue 3, page 4

AYLIGHT was still a few hours off.

Gramps was in the barn milking the
cows. I awoke and looked at the
stars thru my window, and wondered
again as I often did who was waking up "up there somewhere". I said my
10-year-old "Good morning! " to them and
slipped out of bed. Gramps had started
the fire for Manena to cook breakfast. We
had one of those old-fashioned wood stoves
which we got as close to as possible in
winter and as far away from as possible
the rest of the year.

Manena always made a fresh pot of coffee
before going to bed each night. She would
strain the grounds from it and replace it
in a clean pot. By the time Gramps had finishedthe milking, the coffee would be
hot for him. He would drink a cup before
going to feed the pigs. While he was on
the second chore, Manena would dress and
come downstairs to start breakfast.

This particular morning I looked at
the coffee pot and decided I wanted a cup,
my first. I drank it black and hot, right
out of Gramp's big coffee mug. I rinsed
the mug, replaced it, went to the barn.
We children had been reared on fresh
milk, warm from the cow, and had our
special cups hanging from nails on the
rafter. I took my cup and held it for
Gramps to fill. Drank my last cup of warm
milk and rinsed my cup in the bucket of
water Gramps always brought with him to
rinse the floor if one of the cows should
upset a pail.

I stooped down by Gramps again and
waited. He saw that something was bothering me and asked, "Want to tell me about
"No, Sir," I answered.

He inclined his head toward the woods
and asked, "Want to walk it off?" I asked
if he thought it would do any good. He
told me I could always try. As I started
off he cautioned me to take something to
eat with me.

Stopping by the house I put some cold
biscuits in one pocket and some cold "fat
back" in the other. I went toward " Jumpand-Run" Creek. Where I went after that,
I don't recall. Somewhere along the trip
I lost my shoes, socks, and sweater. I
walked a circle from north to east to
south and late that night returned to the
west side of the house.

During this time I couldn't tell you
what happened to the biscuits or the meat.
But I remember getting to the old splittree. Lightning had struck it years ago,
and it had consistently refused to die. I
sat down under this tree.

Suddenly my stomach and mind were going around in dizzy circles. It felt as
if the earth was turning. I grabbed the
tree to hang on and keep from being thrown
off. I "came to" 'way out in the void -- at
a place where I could see the sun and the
stars at the same time. I looked and saw
the earth spinning madly with streaks of
light flashing from it as it turned. It
was cold out there and there was no twinkle to the stars. (Later I learned why
when I was studying science, but at that
time it frightened me.)
When the earth stopped spinning, I was
again under the tree, holding on for dear
life. But I was cold. Such a cold I can't
explain. My flesh felt frozen and even
inside my bones felt cold. When I stood
up, I stumbled like a crippled old woman.
I felt like one.

How I managed to get home, I don't
know, but Gramps was waiting for me on
the porch. I could see the glow of his
pipe as he puffed on it. It was night time
again. He saw me coming across the field
and knocked his pipe out on the edge of
the porch.

When I reached the steps I tried to .,
speak to him and couldn't. The words ..
wouldn't come. I felt him reach into my
mind and saw him open his arms. He sat
and rocked me for a long time while I
sobbed pure dry sobs. I couldn't even
cry. He carried me to bed, undressed me,
and tucked me in. I woke up many times
during the night, and either he or Manena
was sitting beside me. A couple of times W
they held cups of hot broth to my lips. I w
gulped the liquid as if I were starved to 04
death, but I wasn't. That is hard to ex- fx

Next morning, I woke up normally with 01
a healthy appetite as usual. But no one cC
has ever been able to explain to me what
happened. Not even Gramps. m
Tales of the 'Unusual' That Test Om Credulity
of Those Afraid of What They pe't Understand.