A Grave Encounter: The Four-legged Ghoul

Grave

It was like nothing we had ever seen before.

I still remember how large he was.

His tongue was flickering in and out of his mouth.

When my grandmother saw him, she raised her garden hoe in his direction.

Unfazed, he slowly turned away and crawled behind one of the graves disappearing into the woods.

My grandmother said later she believed he was a haint.

-Daddy recalls an event that occurred around 1955 in Eufaula, Alabama.

Daddy tells the whole story

When I was little, my grandmother would often grab us kids to go with her to the cemetery to help her and her sisters clean up our family’s graves.

Usually, this would take place early on Saturday mornings.

On those days, we’d all gather our tools and walk down the railroad track to the cemetery where most of my mother’s side of the family was buried.

We’d typically be out there working all morning.

One day, when I was about ten years old, it happened!

Me, my grandmother, and aunt were clearing away some brush when we spotted the scariest looking thing we had ever seen standing on top of an adult-sized grave.

It was grayish black, and spanned, from his nose to the tip of his tail, the entire length of the slab.

The monster, who weighed more than I did then, was facing us from about two plots away–toward a branch that ran through the middle of the cemetery.

It was like nothing we had ever seen before.

I still remember how large he was.

His tongue was flickering in and out of his mouth.

When my grandmother saw him, she raised her garden hoe in his direction.

Unfazed, he slowly turned away and crawled behind one of the graves disappearing into the woods.

My grandmother said later she believed he was a haint.

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LadyG remembers that story

I remember my Dad telling me this story over the years and I often wondered about the creature that he and his grandmother, Ma Allie, had seen that day.

Daddy said that it looked kinda like a Komodo dragon…

But not exactly.

He also said that this four-legged ghoul was probably feeding off corpses that were not “housed” in a vault.

A grave-robber of sorts.

Just so you know, vaults were not always used back in those days; especially in African-American cemeteries.

Anyway, it is important to note that Komodo dragons are not native to Alabama, or anywhere nearby, so we figured that whatever it was must have gotten loose from someone who had owned him as a pet.

At any rate, Daddy was never fully content with the fact that he could not positively identify that reptilian gargoyle of yore.

So for 64 years, the whole thing remained unsolved…

Until…

Last week, when I sent an article to my Dad about this reptile called a “Tegus” that had been spotted in South Georgia.

The article included a picture of a reptile that fit the description that Daddy gave based on his childhood memories.

After receiving and reading the article, Daddy immediately called me back and said, “That’s it! That’s EXACTLY what I saw!”

He seemed excited that the mystery had been solved.

Apparently, the Tegus has been around the South for much longer than the wildlife folks think!

But, secretly, I prefer Ma Allie’s belief that it was a haint!

LOL!

Lady G loves you!

 

 

 

The Flowering Vine: Baking with Ma Allie

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Since it’s ‘Birthday season’ around these parts, I’ve decided it might be fun to ask Ma Allie (Mother’s mother) to assist me with baking a cake.

Does it matter that she died several years before I was born?

Not to me ūüėČ

I love a challenge!

You game?

Let’s call her and see what happens…

Here goes…

Ma Allie, come forth!

Ma Allie, come forth!

Ma Allie, come forth!

(I once saw someone conjure a ghost using similar phrasing on an old episode of Bewitched.)

 

MA ALLIE: ¬†I’m Allie! ¬†Who are you?

GWIN: ¬†Hey! ¬†My name is Gwin, I’m one of your great- granddaughters…one of Annie Maude’s grandchildren.

MA ALLIE: ¬†Which one o’ her¬†chiren you belong to?

GWIN: I belong to Jimmie.

MA ALLIE:  Well sir!  You shole favor him too!

MA ALLIE: ¬†Now, what ‘choo¬†want wit’ me?

GWIN: Well, I wanted to bake a cake so I decided to ask you to help instead of me looking it up on the web.  

MA ALLIE:¬†(Confounded) Looking’ on a web? ¬†Y’all done started lookin’ at webs to find out what ‘choo wanna know?

Lawd ha’mercy!

GWIN:¬†It’s a long story and I can’t tell it.

Can you PLEASE help me?

MA ALLIE: ¬†Okay baby…

Now, I use my special green cup when I bake.

GWIN: Is it a measuring cup? ¬†I mean… is it 8 ounces?

MA ALLIE:¬†(Kinda irritated) Baby I don’t know nothin‚Äô ’bout no ounces… It‚Äôs just a cup. That’s all I know to tell ya.

I bake wit’ it and sometimes I drank my coffee from it.

Now go get¬†your¬†flour, baking powder, and sugar…then get some butter, milk, eggs and¬†some vanilla.

GWIN: Do I need a tablespoon or a teaspoon for the vanilla?

MA ALLIE: (A bit more irritated)  What?

MA ALLIE: ¬†All you need is a kitchen spoon….when it’s time, put in a li’l…not too much.

Now get a bowl and mix up all your wet thangs¬†and then add¬†yo’ dry things¬†in with the wet.

After you done that, get ‘choo¬†a good wooden spoon and stir¬†it up real nice.

Once you got¬†it all mix up good, pour it¬†into your cake pans ….you¬†ought’a¬†have enough for two layers.

GWIN: How long do I bake it?

MA ALLIE: ¬†(Slightly annoyed) Jus’ watch it and use your senses baby….look at it…smell of it…when you can¬†smell¬†it from anywhere in the house it’s ’bout ready.

You’ll know when to take it out.

Jesus!

Baby, I’m sorry, I got to go on back now.

GWIN: (Highly stressed) Wait, Ma Allie!  What temperature do I need to set the oven for?

MA ALLIE: ¬†(Confused) Temperature? ¬†Honey,¬†I don’t know what ‘choo talkin’ ’bout!

GWIN: ¬†(Even more confused)¬†You know… the oven temperature.

Come look at my stove…right here… this is where you set the oven temperature.

MA ALLIE:¬† (Dumbfounded) Baby I ain’t never baked in¬†no oven like that¬†before in my life!

GWIN: (Stumped) What do I do now?

MA ALLIE:¬† (Chuckling¬†Sarcastically) You better go check wit’ that magic web you was tellin’ me ’bout before.

Ask IT to tell ya !  

‘Bye now!

GWIN: (Stuck with raw cake batter in pans) Oh good grief!

MOTHER, COME FORTH!!!

 

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