“Tell me a ghost story!”

25 Feb

Last week I went baby (and cat) sitting, and took Simon along to entertain the cat (and me).

Come the end of the evening we were a bit bored and I was demanding of attention in that whiney little-sister way.

“Tell me a ghost story!”

So he proceded to tell me a story about a ghostly staircase, magically-appearing candles, and a room full of skulls (which were possibly only sheep skulls – let’s not get too scary).

Now, this may seem a random form of activity, but is not without precedent. Maybe a year ago, the Hobgoblins (that is, my previous set of housemates) spontaneously built a fort in the lounge one afternoon out of all our furniture and some blankets. It was ace – you could even watch the TV in there, if you didn’t mind watching from a lying-down position (the ceiling was pretty low). We kept it for a good few days.

Sim and I were sitting in there when it got dark, and it seemed to me that the appropriate thing to do would be to tell ghost stories.

“Tell me a ghost story!” I said.

As best I can recall, it went something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a squirrel called John. He was a happy sort of squirrel, but one day he realised that his life lacked a certain something. So John decided to take up cooking. He worked and worked at his cooking, mainly using nuts, and eventually he could cook a really nice nut lasagne…

After a while of this, I interjected, “This isn’t exactly the scariest ghost story I’ve ever heard.”

“Oh – did you say ghost story? Er…”

… So all the animals in the forest ate the nut lasagne. They remarked how yummy it was, and the badger asked who had made it. ‘The squirrel,’ someone replied. The badger screamed. Because you see… there was a squirrel… but he died, twenty years ago!

“Oh, please.”

… And sometimes, when you walk in the forest, you can still hear the ‘scrape, scrape,’ of a ghostly little squirrel spatula…

Yeah, that’s right kids. A ghostly squirrel-sized spatula. Don’t have nightmares.

Scrape, scrape…

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