Contest runs from February 28 to March 14, 2017.
Mr. Erskine straightened up and looked around. We heard old Bu, the hoot owl, calling from somewhere far out in the woods, and a flock of big black crows flew over and landed in a tree beside us.
“It’s gettin’ late,” Erskine told us. “I’d better get you young people home on this Halloween night.”
Witch Boy chose that quiet moment to let loose a loud, nerve shattering series of barks. The crows left the tree with a noisy flapping of wings, their harsh raspy voices cawing and fussing as they went.
“Look here, it’s about to get dark on us,” Erskine announced. “We’ve stayed too long out here tellin’ tales. We best hurry on down the mountain while there’s still light enough to navigate.
“Come on, dog,” he commanded, but Witch Boy ran off into the woods.
“He’ll foller us,” Willie T. assured our teacher. “You don’t have to call him.”
Erskine grabbed hold of our hands in an exuberant grip, me on one side and Willie T. on the other, took a deep breath and broke out singing the end of the Highwayman song in a strong and surprisingly pleasant voice.
“And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees …”
And that’s the last sound we heard before the ground disappeared from beneath our feet.