Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Monster in the Hay Loft

Monster Hunter

A guest post by Baby Brother, Blair. Who's really not such a baby any more.

While growing up on the ranch, we had many daily chores. 
One of those chores involved getting up early in the morning, feeding the bulls and heifers.
And caring for the milk cow. 
We kept such a cow for nursing any orphan calves and for fresh milk. 
It just so happened that this particular spring we didn’t have any orphan calves so she had to be hand-milked.
The milking barn had about 4 stalls.  But thank goodness, only one cow. 
There was a gutter that ran down behind the stalls and was used for catching . . . cow-by-products. I learned one day that I should always keep the gutter clean because the cow and I had a disagreement which I lost. I ended up in said gutter and was . . . not happy. 
And every once in a while I would pawn the milking off on my older sister, but I found out that she could beat me up so milking the cow stayed my responsibility.
Back to my story . . .
One beautiful spring morning I got up earlier than normal and went out to do my chores.  I have no idea how I managed it. It was hard for me to get up in the mornings when I was a teenager. My body seemed to want to sleep for 20 hours a day.
However, this particular morning I got up and went out to milk the cow.
Mornings in the spring in Southern Alberta were usually cold, but the air was fresh and clear.
I chased the cow into the barn, locked her in the stall, set down the bucket, sat on the stool and proceeded to milk.
It was nice sitting close to the cow. She was warm and, like I said, it was a cold spring morning.
Our dog had followed the cow and I into the barn and was sniffing around the barn at things that dogs are interested in.
I hadn’t been milking long when I heard a faint moan. I stopped what I was doing and listened.
But I heard nothing more so I started milking again.
Then I heard a slightly louder moan. 
I stopped and listened.
I heard the moan again.
It was coming from the hay loft.
It kind of sounded like a cross between a moan and the sounds that the monsters make in the horror movies that I had seen.
I thought: Surely that can’t be a monster!  It is early in the morning and monsters only come out and chase poor defenseless people at night. And usually this chasing happens in a dark hallway or alley. I was in a barn. I couldn’t think of a single scary movie where monsters or bad guys hurt poor defenseless people in the early morning in the milking parlor in a barn.
I decided that the noise was just my imagination.
Or the wind.
Even though the wind wasn’t blowing.
I continued milking the cow. 
Suddenly, there was a loud moan that definitely came from the loft.
The dog seemed to notice.
I quit milking and watched the dog.
Then there was a chillingly loud moan. It sounded like someone was being tortured.
Badly.
The dog paused and looked intensely in the direction of the loft. If the dog was hearing something then there must be a monster up there.
I leaped up and headed for the barn door before whatever it was could jump down from the loft and get me.
As I left the barn and headed for the corral gate, I realized I had just left the cow for the monster.  I thought, I’ll get reinforcements and come back to rescue the cow.
Now that I think about it, the cow seemed calm and not at all concerned about the noise.
I wasn’t calm.
I may have been whimpering or screaming.
Who can remember when you have a monster that is going to do bad things to your person?
I got my brother George and, armed with a pitch fork and a 2x4, we headed back to the barn to investigate. 
But when we got up into the loft there was nothing there. There was a place that looked like someone/monster had been sleeping. But there was no sign of anything else.
But just in case you think that I was imagining things, I have proof. The depression in the straw where the monster had been sleeping and the dog’s reaction to the noise.
That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

12 comments:

  1. That would be enough to keep ME out of the barn for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! At least that's the excuse I used . . .

      Delete
  2. All the best stories feature monsters.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well written Blair. You too have the gift ! Even Leif was smiling at his similar memories :-). Keep up the writing ! Luv F2

    ReplyDelete
  4. Possibly a passing Tramp taking advantage of the shelter for the night. He scarpered when you ran out of the barn I expect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly who it was! Someone who was sleeping off a drunk, I'm sure. But 'monster' is far more interesting!

      Delete
  5. Eeeeeek! Anything remotely scary makes me break out in chills; good thing I wasn't there because the level of screaming and whimpering would be much louder. Hmmm ... pitchfork and 2x4 - sounds like home security everyone should have ...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm pretty sure I've heard this story before. I think it was when Diane was telling the story of how she got up early one morning, hid in the loft in the barn and scared the cr@p out of her brother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Diane, you're busted

      Delete
  7. It was kind of you to be worried enough about the cow to go back to protect it :)_

    ReplyDelete

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