When I take my walks I stay on the farm; our road is graveled, a little isolated in spots with thickets where one could be picked up by strangers, and so I play it safe. I walk over to the south forty, past three barns where Popa keeps his tractors and equipment since we don't put hay in them anymore.
On one particular day, as I approached the first barn, I heard what I thought was someone talking and wondered if someone had come to look over a piece of equipment Popa was going to trade off. But I hadn't seen anyone drive past the house. Then I heard music coming from inside the barn.
Oh, Popa must have forgotten to turn off the key and the radio is playing; I really should turn it off or the battery will run down. Instead of taking the time to unfasten the chain on the gate I will just climb over.
When I lifted my leg over the top of the gate, the music stopped at once! Fear swept over me, for you see, this was only a few days after Katrina had struck New Orleans and we had heard that perhaps prisoners had escaped. Besides the two tractors inside the barn, there was an old truck; maybe someone was using the barn to live in.
No, surely not and if it was just a key I needed to turn it off, so I went on into the barn. The new tractor didn't have a key in it and the older tractor had a key but it was turned off. Now I began to feel like someone was watching me, so I climbed back over the gate and quickly walked back to the house, turning now and then to see if anyone was following me. I locked the doors and waited for Popa to come home.
Of course he was afraid too, and when his brother came, they got the shot gun and drove over to the barn to investigate. They found nothing, not even so much as a footprint. The person must have left.
The mystery continued to puzzle us, until a few weeks later. One morning when I went outside, I heard music. This time the new tractor was parked in front of the shed behind the house and the music was coming from it. The key was off; why was the radio playing? And many other times afterwards, when I was feeding the cats in the shed, the radio would just start playing as if my movements triggered it. Popa finally decided the radio must have an alarm set to go off. But whatever, it gave me shivers just to think about the first time it happened.
Boo! ! ! Charlotte