Author Topic: Scarecrow, by durlabh,  (Read 1478 times)

Scarecrow, by durlabh,
« on: April 23, 2010, 09:05:42 PM »

Offline DannicaAngel

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Intro: A visitor to a remote part on his holidays. Shadow of a scarecrow plays strange tricks on his mind.


When you live in a big city and are absorbed in its daily activities and routines, you long for some country scenes as to refresh your soul and to get away from it all. Such was my situation a few years ago and I was traveling in a train and as usual I am the one who breaks the ice with my fellow passengers. I started talking to a man about life in general and it expired that he used to be a city slicker and working in a financial institute and was always preoccupied with the profit motives and with making of more and more money. It was exciting for few years but the whole effect start diminishing and with it any job satisfaction went out of window and he ended up buying a small plot of land in the country to get away from it all. He started farming from the scratch as he knew next to nothing about farming but was lucky to find some people who were willing to help him in the intricacies of farming.

He now had been in farming for three years and though he was just making enough money to keep him afloat financially and for which he was not worried as his mainstay being job satisfaction from venture into farming. He told him that I was welcome to visit him any time I liked. We exchanged addresses and promised to keep in touch. The opportunity came my way sooner than expected as I had a break from my employment for four days and I began to make plan to spend some free days in open country away from the human habitation. I recalled the farmer’s name and contacted him and he was pleased to offer me a country cottage, one mile from his farm and that happened to be vacant. He warned me against expecting a luxurious accommodation and I assured him that any accommodation, furnished with basics, would be good enough for me. I rented the cottage for three nights and against his refusal to accept any money, I sent him a cheque for the modest amount which to me was a small nominal amount and which I was sure he was bound to accept.

I took a coach to the nearest village and I had to walk two miles from the bus stop to reach my rented cottage and by the time I arrived it was already getting dark and after appeasing my hunger with a light snack, I was in bed and the tiredness soon brought waves of sleep over me and soon I was gone into slumber land.

I got up in the morning and the sunshine of the new day was filtering through the curtains casting pleasant curtained shadows on the wall. It was a bit chilly but not too cold and which delayed my body reactions to get out of the bed but I eventually did. After the morning brushing and washing, I was ready to eat my breakfast in front of the window, which was on the first floor. I pulled the curtains aside to have a better look of the countryside across the house that was stretching in to wider horizons. Behind the window there was a field of freshly cut hey and the farmer have rolled it into big hey rolls scattered all over the green undergrowth of the fields. The straw colours were well, matching with the yellow green colors of the ground. It was a pretty picture of the green fields with mauve hills in the background as the distant horizon.

Behind the field there was a plantation of corn, with thick maize stalks crowned by cobs of the corn, still green and not fully matured. There were arrays of birds hovering over that field presumably to pick grains from cobs but strangely enough they were not landing in the field. I looked closely and I saw the figure of a scarecrow rocking backward and forward just like a man sitting in a rocking chair. Suddenly I noticed that there was hardly any wind to move the scarecrow. May be the farmer had tied a rope of some sort and from a distant point he was pulling it to frighten the birds. I thought that later that day I might visit the sight to appease my curiosity.

In the morning I went exploring the countryside. The air was clean suffused with gentle sunshine and it was pleasant to walk about and restoring one’s energy after the hectic city life which normally emptied you of all the finer sensitivities .It was sort of contemplation or a meditation if you would like to call it that and if you are a creative person, it can set latent emotions in motion rolling over on new ground of existence. When you are alone amid all the vastness and without any human voice to influence you, you enter that dimension of alone-ness or as you may call it ‘All oneness’ and thus you become portion of it all. Musing such I spent the whole morning.

In the afternoon I went out to explore my curiosity about the situation regarding scarecrow. As I went to the spot where I first saw it, it was no longer there and I thought the farmer might have dismantled it but when I scanned the expanse of the field, I found it to be standing a few hundred yards from the place where I first saw it. It was strange but I dismissed it as the trickery of my mind and false impressions. I went close to it; it was a normal sort of scarecrow and nothing special about it. I was returning from the cornfields to my habitation and another curious thing happened. The shadow of it began to extend and began to grow larger and larger till it covered up to the ground extending at the back of my cottage. It was giving me trouble again and I felt something of ‘ a human’ playing tricks on my mind with some sense of humour as if playing practical joke on my mind.

During the night there was big storm and rain kept lashing against the windowpanes. Thunder and lightening were playing out their drama with flashes of lights and bursts of deafening sounds. As compared with outside, the inside was comfortable and I tucked into my blankets and felt more secure inside that dark emptiness. In the middle of the night, I thought I heard repeated noises as if someone was knocking at the window. It must be some overhanging branches of some trees; I thought so and went into my slumber again. After about two hours, the same noise repeated and I got up to investigate it. When I tried to switch on the light within the room, nothing happened. The storm must have knocked the electric power cables.

I found an old candle and tried to search for a box of matches and which I found eventually. With shaky hands, I tried to light it but the wind blew away the flame. I succeeded at the third attempt and when I raised the candle to have better view of the window and the room, I thought I saw the face of the scarecrow outside the glass and it was repeatedly knocking against it as to get noticed or just to wake up the inhabitant of the room. I felt a shiver up my spine but when I approached the window and looked through the glass, there was nothing there.

In the morning I went on my exploratory walk of the countryside and followed a dirt track that ended in a T-junction and there was a road sign pointing to the direction of two different locations. Out of curiosity, I looked up and lo! I found the scarecrow as if standing against those signposts with a distinct smile on that weird face.

What was it trying to do, play on my nerves, frighten me? I started conjecturing. Using the scientific data- I conjectured that perhaps the reality behind time and space is different and there may be scores of dimensions about which we had no knowledge. Perhaps these overlap that stray into dimensions of each other, perhaps the reality was much richer then we have ever thought of or perhaps I was seeing things, which were not there, and perhaps I was getting into some delusionary state.

I made up my mind as not to dwell it anymore. That thing was not going to derive me out of my mind or out of my holiday cottage so to say. In spite of everything, I was going to enjoy my holidays in that beautiful countryside.

After the end of my stay, I walked the last mile on foot to the coach stop to reach home for my return journey and while waiting for the coach, I saw the scarecrow at the edge of the field rocking as if pleased with itself, to bid good bye to me.

"Innocence" he said, while his eyes fell away and slowly slid black irises to study the mist-laden woods around him.
"Losing your innocence, is like losing a limb."
The smile that appeared on his lips was neither cold nor warm - it was colourless.
"She crippled me"
"For that, I will cripple her.