About 10 years ago when my family first moved to the hills of Central Humboldt I met my best friend. Her house was exactly one mile from mine, and on cold winter morning, hot summer days, and any free moments in between we’d make the long uphill trek (both ways mind you) to meet in the middle and decide where to go from there.
About a third of a mile from my house there was a well a few yards from the edge of the road. Old and forgotten all that remained were a few inches of cement well casing grown over with reeds and grasses, and completely hidden from wondering eyes. The day we finally discovered it we found a long stick and poked it to the bottom. It wasn’t to deep having been filled in over the years by leaves and sediment only 5 or 6 feet of water remained.
My best friend had an older sister, only a few years our senior but an older sister none the less, and the duties of a younger sisters are to love, support, and terrorize whenever possible, and that is just what we loved to do. Now there are a few things that make a person an easy target… such as being easily embarrassed or overly self conscious, but the mother of all targets the one that just paints a big red and white doughnut on your butt would have to be…. the phobia…
Coulrophobia -the sweet, sweet uncontrollable, completely reliable and totally irrational fear of clowns, and a fear that our dear, sweet older Sis so conveniently harbored. So as we walked home that day we laughed and joked about telling her what was “really” at the bottom of that old forgotten well, about an old dead clown drowned long ago by a jealous circus performer, and left forever lurking in the depths of the murky water … waiting… just for her.
Years passed and we grew up, moved to different places started different schools, and forgot about hidden wells and the white painted faces of men who lurked at the bottom of them… That is until a few weeks ago.
“Did you see the cow?” my Dad asked one day after my husband and I had just arrived home.
“The cow in the well”
And the next time we headed out the road there it was. A full grown black and white cow with her head and most of her body lying in the grass next to the well, her feet and hind quarters stuck down in the watery hole as if they had been seized and drug down by white gloved hands. Such an illogical picture it painted, for the well was small and my dad had taken a sledge hammer to the concrete rim years ago to allow wondering animals a chance to avoid a damp, stagnant grave, but there she was none the less… I can’t even begin to fathom how she died there, how she was unable to pull herself out of the hole and up onto the grass… There was only one explanation… and at that moment silly thoughts of silly young girls suddenly began to feel a little less like jokes to scare older sisters, and more like the makings of legends that were beginning to scare us.Thanks for reading. please feel free to comment and subscribe