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  • Writer's pictureLinda Kuntz

Story of the Month: The Scarecrow

by Linda Kuntz

I live on a small farm, far out in the country. Every year, my dad puts outscarecrows in our fields because he thinks they're effective in not only keeping the crows out, but evil spirits as well. I guess he's a little superstitious. The scarecrows he sets out are the same ones, year after year. After so much wear and tear, they were showing their age.

This October started out just like any other October. The weather was turning cool, and the leaves were beginning to change into brilliant orange and yellow colors. One Saturday, us kids got together and decided to make a new scarecrow. Being creative, we gathered our supplies and got to work. This scarecrow was to be different. This was my special design. I wanted a creepy scarecrow, much scarier than the others. Hours later, we finished up. Indeed, he was the ugliest, most frightening scarecrow I've ever seen. I was so proud.

Mom called us for supper so we planted the scarecrow out in the cornfield, where I could see it from my bedroom window. Not giving it any more thought, we went in and ate. Soon, the wind picked up and it began lightning. No storm was forecasted but it looked like we were in for a rough night.

Light rain began falling as I went up to bed. I was worried about my new scarecrow, so I peeked out my window. What I saw shocked me. He was there alright, but not where we had placed him. It appeared to me that he was several feet to the right. Puzzled, I stood at the window and watched intently.

The lightning was bright and every time it flashed; I could see my scarecrow. The problem was, it looked as if he was moving when the sky was dark, only to turn up in another spot when the sky lit up. Thinking that I must be imagining things, I put my pajamas on and went to bed. Later on, a loud CRACK of thunder woke me up. By now, the rain was pounding down, making it difficult to see out my window. I slipped on my shoes and snuck outside to check on my scarecrow. Not sure where he was, I walked around in the thunderstorm, half blinded by the cold, stinging rain.

Clumsily, I stumbled over a fallen branch and fell face down in a patch of mud. When I looked up, there was my scarecrow glaring down at me. His eyes were huge and glowing red. I couldn't pick myself up fast enough. I ran screaming to the house and never looked back.

After tossing and turning the rest of the night, I woke up to bright sunshine and the smell of bacon. Not wanting to tell my parents what had happened, I sat quietly and ate breakfast. Anxious and apprehensive, I then went outside to look around. My dad was already looking for damage to the buildings, but I was looking for my scarecrow. I could see the other scarecrows, all in their usual places but my scarecrow was nowhere to be found.

Full of confusion, I began crying. Not because of losing the scarecrow, but because of pure, unadulterated fear. My father told me that he blew away and would be discovered in a field during harvest. I knew better. Somehow, some way, that scarecrow came alive. How, I don't know.

Years have passed and to this day, I have never seen my scarecrow again. What happened that stormy night? Do scarecrows really keep out evil spirits or can they be possessed by one? I don't live on that farm anymore, but I've never ventured outside during a thunderstorm again.

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