An upturned plant pot and an unknown creature
The birds flew from the budding cherry tree above the feeder as soon as I threw the seeds inside. Squabbling over the perch, they vied for their position in line. I smiled as I watched the familiar battle of wills and listened to their chirps of disagreement. It wasn’t long before the squirrels and chipmunks heard the sound of the feeder being stocked and joined in the conversation. Another pleasant morning in my garden.
But something caught my attention as I turned to take the seed scoop back inside. Something was there that shouldn’t have been there. There was a pile on the side deck. A pile of evidence that a giant beast had passed that way. Inches from where I stood.
I write fantasy
This happened shortly after I began gathering research for a fantasy story that I hoped to write for the upcoming NaNoWriMo challenge. So, all manner of fanciful ideas flooded my brain. Was it a wolf, a coyote, a rabid dog, or worse–possibly a beast unknown to my area, or a werewolf?!
I took a deep breath and tried to think of more plausible explanations. I finally decided it was highly probable it was a wayward dollop of sludge from emptying a flower pot. Maybe.
I called to my adult son to come give me his opinion. He writes fantasy too–more than I do and more successfully (I can brag). And, after aliens with no personal hygiene manners were discussed at great length, he concluded yes, it was obviously a werewolf. He has my sense of humour.
And then this happened
We were still laughing at the antics our creative minds get up to when we’re in each other’s company when I spotted something that stopped me and literally caught my breath. I clutched my gardening gloves to my chest and called out to my son. (He was crouching on the front deck, probably still thinking of the possibility of an alien invasion being the reason for the mysterious pile). He sauntered over to me, and I pointed to the offending site.
Not far from the previous mystery, there was something else alarming. It was in the corner of the deck directly under my bedroom window. So, not only had something left a pile of something behind to let us know it had been on our deck, it showed us how intelligent it was too–while I slept!
With its beautiful begonias and narcissus, a flower pot was completely turned on its side inside the ceramic planter. I think I remained frozen to the spot, like a crazy-looking garden statue, for several minutes. My son stared at the pot, saying nothing. Then, slowly turned to me and said, “What?”
“What?” I exclaimed back at him. Glaring, I pointed to the pot. “It was a huge beast! See, it turned the pot upside down inside the planter! Only a big beastly thing could have done it. The wind couldn’t turn over a pot like that!”
All common sense left me and I remained at a distance from the disturbing sight. I sheepishly glanced about the garden for signs of a terrifying presence. Then, finally, my son went over to inspect the pot. After fiddling about with it for a few minutes, lifting it out and moving it around, he turned to me and grinned.
He stepped back and proceeded to explain how the weird phenomena had happened.
“It rained heavily last night. The planter probably doesn’t have a large enough hole in the bottom to let all that water drain out at once. The rain collected in the planter and, as the water level rose, it lifted the pot to the surface where a slight imbalance of the planter caused it to tip sideways. The rainwater seeped slowly out of the bottom of the planter, and the water levelled off. The pot sank to rest on the bottom, on its side.”
I straightened myself up and took another deep breath. Although I felt pretty foolish, I took some credit for homeschooling him. I looked at my grinning son.
So, no giant beast or alien invasion?”
“I’m afraid not. Although it would make for a great story.”
’Til next time, I hope you have a lot of laughs in your life and loved ones to share them with and, oh—watch out for the aliens!
This post was first published on Medium.com
Did you miss my first garden mystery? Here it is —