Note: An earlier version of this story was written many years ago for my ‘god-daughters’. Potential illustrators welcome.
The sky was as black as inside a chimney
and it sent down buckets of rain.
The wind went straight through your kidneys
and blew the dog off its chain.
In bed slept Caitlin and Hannah
with their pet kangaroo and a cat.
(They used to have a goanna
but Mum put a stop to that!)
Through the house came a sound so fearful,
a sound you just couldn’t ignore.
It was twice as bad as an earful
of Dad when he started to snore.
“Who’s there in the dark?” said Caitlin
and Hannah said “Turn on the light!”
But the sound just kept up its wailin’.
The cat’s hair was rigid in fright.
“Hannah, this is perfectly ridiculous
There’s got to be somebody there.”
said Caitlin as she comforted the platypus
“Have a look, if you’re not too scared.”
“I’m not frightened of looking” said Hannah,
“like you and you’re old scaredy cat.
I’ll go and see while you’re sooking;
I’ll bet you it’s only a rat.”
But she wasn’t as brave as she sounded,
while pretending she just didn’t care,
but her heart went ‘bump’ as it pounded
when a hand stroked the back of her hair!
She turned and she faced this stranger,
This thing that stayed out of the light.
He said gently “You are in no danger,
I promise I don’t even bite.”
“I’m an old, old man of forty
Who’s lost every tooth in his head
I never start out to be naughty
But somehow it happens”, he said.
“I am the Ghost of Stable Road
I’ve been here for one hundred years
All I eat is the occasional toad
All I drink is dandelion beer.”
“We’ll be your friend” said Hannah
“Me and Caitlin don’t want to feud.
But stop moaning in that ghostly manner.
At this time of night, it’s rude.”
“Come and meet Caitlin and kanga
and platypus and the cat.
We’ll breakfast on cornflakes and Fanta
Now what do you think of that?”
“I’d love to, dear,” said the Stable Road Ghost,
but I disappear in the morning.
So I’ll say goodbye to my lovely host.”
And he vanished as the sun was dawning.
“Well, what was there?” said Caitlin,
when Hannah came back all sleepy.
“Was it something back from the dead
or something even more creepy?”
Hannah said “It had a horse’s head
and 47 legs, all wiggling
and one big eye that was bloodshot red!”
and tried to keep from giggling.
But Caitlin smiled because she’d seen him go,
rising with the morning mist,
over the top of Stable Road,
and she’d blown him a fairy kiss.