In The Mirror
Itís said that plants, trees and other forms of vegetation have a method of communication all their own. Animals also seem to be in touch, perhaps on a wavelength beyond that of humans. If the trees along the line and the abundant flora and fauna could tell of the diggings, there would be much to answer for.
The late afternoon sun bathed the fields with cooler rays as it began to settle in for the day, a long day, entertained by the intriguing music box and the animated dancer that so enthralled and mesmerized me. In an oddly anthropomorphic way, I felt drawn and attached now to the curious box and it's inhabitant and carried it with me for the long walk back to the house.
The old house and property had been in the family for nearly 150 years. It was built during the Civil War and was almost immediately seized for a field headquarters by a Union Colonel named Fleglar and his entourage. The troops were billeted in the granary and the barn while my ancestors were allowed to live in the cold, damp cellar of the house.
One tale I recall being told was that my great-great-great-great grandfather had sympathetic feelings for the plight of the South and he had decided to manifest those feelings in a most surreptitious way. He would rid the house of the blue vermin who had taken it away from him by killing them off in the most hideous of ways.
Out along the tree line, he would capture rattlesnakes and cotton mouths, placing them in burlap sacks. At night he would steal his way past the guards and release them in the billets. The angry and aroused snakes would creep through the straw bedding, biting the sleeping soldiers.
The screams were terrifying as the snakes bit faces arms and legs. In the chaos, an oil lamp belonging to a sentry was knocked from its mooring, igniting the dry straw and quickly spreading throughout the barn.
Death was agonizingly slow and painful for many of the men and those who were severely injured would never again take up arms.
After a few days had passed, the dead had all been buried, the injured were taken to field hospitals and Col. Fleglar along with his remaining troops, were gone.
...just bein' Bluesy