Scary Christmas story
Laugh Tracks in the Dust, Damphewmore Acres, Kan.
This wuz the week for emails from faithful readers — one with a story, a couple with witticisms. So, here we go ……..
The following story is a sworn true “scary Christmas” one from one of my old high school buddies at Moran Rural High School — ol’ Woodie Strechit. It wuz written by his good wife.
“Milo, thought we should share our story from years back with you. It’s our scary Christmas story from years ago.
“Years ago, our family, including our two daughters, arrived home on Christmas Eve after enjoying our traditional family get together with my parents. It was a very cold night, somewhere around 15 degrees below zero, with deep snow drifts everywhere. We unlocked the back door and went inside to the back porch.
“Our oldest daughter, then around 10 years old, was in the lead. She walked through the kitchen, stopping suddenly in the doorway to the living room. Hubby was right behind her. He tried to get her to move, but she would not budge. After several attempts to get her to move on, she said in a quavering voice, ‘Daddy, what’s that?’ He replied, ‘What’s what?’ She pointed behind the stove and said, ‘Those boots!’
“Hubby looked and there sticking out from behind the wood stove was a pair of boots. He walked closer and could see there was a man attached to those boots. He lightly kicked the guy’s boot and the boot owner woke up. By the smell of his breath, we could tell he was boozed up.
“That in itself worried us. But then, out from behind the wood stove, following our visitor, came our family dog, Jeepers, who had curled up behind the stove with our uninvited visitor, either to keep him warm or just keep him company. Some watch dog he was, but one of the best dogs we ever had!
“The visitor said that he was with some other people and their car had slid off into a snow drift and was stuck. He had come our way. His two buddies had gone another direction and they had left a woman in the car. He had walked about a mile and a half to get to our house.
“About that time, the phone rang and I answered it. The person on the other end of the line said, ‘This is the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and we were wondering if you had seen any strangers around your place tonight?’
“The sheriff’s office had been notified of a car in a snow drift. The dispatcher said they had found the woman and were now trying to locate the ones who had left the car. I instantly said, ‘He is standing in our living room right now!’
“I was in the kitchen with our daughters. Hubby was in the living room with our visitor the sheriff was looking for. While I was on the phone, our visitor was asking hubby if he would go pull his vehicle out of the snow drift. Hubby came into the kitchen where his coveralls and coat were in the closet. As he was doing that, the dispatcher on the phone asked me what the guy was doing. I told her that he had asked Gary to pull him out of the snow drift.
“Instantly she said, ‘Don’t let him leave. Officers are on their way.’ I told hubby very quietly what she had said and he went back into the living room and started talking to our visitor about how cold it was outside and that he, hubby, would have to gather up his outside working clothes and some chains before they could leave, trying not to alert the visitor to anything going on.
“Meanwhile, I’m still talking to the lady from the sheriff’s office. I asked her if our visitor was wanted for anything and she told me she thought he might be. Now, I’m getting scared. It seemed like a long time, but the sheriff and an officer or two finally arrived.
“The sheriff asked our visitor how he got into our home and he said he walked through the front door. We always lock the door, so I went to look to see if he had broken the lock. It was fine. Apparently, hubby and I thought the other had locked the door. The man probably would have frozen to death if the door had been locked or we would have had a broken lock.
“The sheriff asked us to look around to see if we could find anything that was missing. The only thing we could find missing was an apple. Our visitor had it in his pocket and we told him to keep it. After they all left, I think the four of us were shaking so much we were shaking the icicles off the whole house.
“We started getting ready for bed because by then it was well after midnight. The daughters said they were scared and didn’t want to sleep in their bedroom. So, hubby and I looked at each other and we made the hide-a-bed couch into a bed. Hubby and I slept on it and the girls slept in their sleeping bags on the floor right beside us that night.
“We found out later that our uninvited visitor and his companions were staying off the highways to keep from being seen and that’s how they ended up in the snow drift. We also found out that they had recently been released from jail in a nearby town. But we never learned what they were in jail for or what they were wanted for at that time. Probably better we didn’t know.
“For a long time after that, every time we went into the house, we checked for boots behind the wood stove! It was the scariest Christmas Eve we will ever have and will never forget!”
A couple of column-ending witticisms from readers were:
From the Old Swans, Erie, Kan. — “I can relate to reasons not to retire. When I turned 65, my dad was 90 and still driving a tractor and combine. I would like to retire, but Dad won’t let me.”
From Joe Lynoh, Wichita — “Sure, you can get your wife jewelry or an expensive purse or perfume for Christmas and she will soon forget it. However, she will never forget the Christmas you put a rag mop under the tree for her. Guaranteed never!”
Those are pretty wise words to close on, so Merry Christmas to all. Hope it’s a good ‘un and a safe ‘un.
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