Once Upon a Time…


Once upon a time, there lived an old ghost. His old bones were covered in seaweed and barnacles and he wanted nothing more than to have them discovered, cleaned up, and buried properly. Why did everyone else get to rest their weary bones in peaceful places, yet his were left in the cold and the wet with sea life growing all over him?

It was tiring wandering the earth as he was, waiting for rescue. Rest would come only after having his old bones discovered and removed from the bottom of the slimy bog where they lay for the past one hundred and twenty three years. He had done all he could to lure the curious nature lovers to the bog over time.  Yet, so obvious were his ghostly activities, that the bog gained a reputation as being frighteningly haunted. And for good reasons! Consequently, it had become nearly impossible to lure the living to his unpleasant place of unrest.

Eventually, he came to understand the problem he had created and chose to change his approach considerably. Instead of trying to keep people there to discover his bones by tricking them into falling into the bog or causing confusion so they became lost and unable to find a way out, he turned to a positive approach. He got behind them and blew a warm and inviting breeze, encouraging a forward march. He cleared the clouds away just enough for sun light to filter through and glisten off the murky green water, making it appear peaceful, dreamy, and inviting. Everything that could be done to make the bog less haunted and more romantic, the ghost was determined to do. And it eventually worked.

There came a wet spring day when a boy and his dog were drawn by the sunlight over the bog. Although the boy was aware of the old rumors he was not afraid nor was his dog. They ran freely through the forest following the sunlight and ended up in a warm place where the sun sparkled like diamonds glistening on black velvet.  The dog, unable to resist water as is the case with Retrievers, never slowed his gallop. As he approached the waters edge, he launched himself from the shore spread eagle upon the bed of sparkling bling.

And bling it was to a bone loving dog! Fido resurfaced excitedly with a femur between his teeth. The boy was not the least bit alarmed, assuming it was simply the bone of an animal who’d had the misfortune of falling into and drowning in the bog. The dog jumped in a second time and came out with a rib. A third time brought him up with a shoulder blade.

By this time, the boy was growing bored. He commanded the dog to leave the bones and follow him home. In the mean time, the old ghost was thrilled. A part of him had been discovered. Surely someone would find these bones, then search for the rest of him. Surely, they would not stop until every bone was retrieved from the cold mushy floor of the slimy bog.

But in the end, the only one to discover more bones was Fido. In the weeks to come, the dog dove and fetched bone after bone from the bottom of the bog until there were none left. He spent hours upon hours in the following weeks chewing up every single last one of them.

As a result, the bog is no longer haunted. But the dog sure is.

The End