Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Family Legend

When my parents were young they moved in to an apartment where there was one closet they couldn't get in to because the door was stuck. Eventually they did get the door open and soon after that they began seeing The Little Man. You know how sometimes you see something out of the corner of you eye but when you turn there's nothing there? My parents started having this happen a lot and eventually discovered that they both thought it was a small man something like one of the seven dwarfs but not really.

There is a poem by William Hughes Mearns that goes like this

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

This is where The Little Man got his name although in my family when we quote this poem we change the last line to "Gee I hope he's come to stay".

Eventually they decided to start a family (enter tiny baby Dani) and bought a house. It was a great old Victorian house. It had been the guest house to the Lieutenant Governor's Mansion (the actual mansion burned down a hundred or so years go), and a boarding house, and something a little disreputable like a brothel or speak easy but I don't remember that part of the story.

The Little Man came with us to the new house. According to my Mom their theory was that The Little Man had been stuck in that closet in the apartment and they let him out. He wasn't scary or mischievous just shy but apparently he liked our family so he came to the new house.

When I was three we moved to another city and The Little Man came with us again. This house was split level built in to a hill so there was a place under the house that was basically a cave. This was The Little Mans domain. I'm not sure why we believed he lived down there but we all did and respected his space (we didn't have any good reason to go in there any way).

Now up to this point I've been recounting my parents story and you may think this was just their explanation for that thinking you see something phenomenon. Or something they told me to keep me out of the crawl space. Or maybe just a charming story they perpetuated just to be cute. However when I was about seven or eight I started seeing The Little Man too.

The first time I saw him it was the middle of the night and I'd gotten up to get a drink of watter. When I walked in to the kitchen I put my Ewok (yes I had a stuffed Ewok) on the kitchen table because getting watter was a two handed project. As I stood at the sink I could see the table and the door way out of the corner of my eye. The Little Man came in and picked up my Ewok curiously and examined her. I froze in surprise. He put her back down smiled vaguely in my direction as if to say, "Don't let me disturb you. I'll come back latter, when this place is less crowded" and walked away. I turned and stared at where I was sure I'd seen him. My primary emotion was irritation that he'd picked up my toy but under that was excitement that I now knew what my parents were talking about. I saw him from time to time after that, perhaps a couple times a year.

When I was twelve we moved again. It was quite a while before we realised that none of us had seen The Little Man since we moved. I think he liked the area he had to live in under the previous house and stayed. None of us ever saw the little man again.

You don't have to believe in The Little Man but I do. I like to keep an open mind.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1 Scene 5


Roses said...

That is so totally awesome!
But, I am SO not housesitting for you.

Dani said...

Roses-Good Greif! I tried to leave you a coment on that post but I got an error. My computers been weird all day.

Here I was thinking oh how cool she doesn't think I'm crazy. La la I'll have to tell my two ghost stories some time. Oh MY God it's actually a crazy man in the house! I guess I don't actually know you but I'm so relieved that you and your friend got away ok.

That is a crazy story!

Roses said...

Dani: While I wouldn't want to ever really see your Little Man (or the crazy real man at Whoopie's house), I think people who see dead people (and Little people) are totally cool and tend to have THE best stories.

I'd love to read your two ghosts stories.
::bounces on seat in anticipation::