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Ghost Farmer

Wendy Wishart, Nova Scotia, Canada
February 1998

Ilive in a rural area on the island of Cape Breton in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. In my barn, I have a Jersey cow, a Holstein bull, a goat, two Standardbred horses, two Clydesdale horses, and a ghost farmer.

My farm is built on the site of what used to be a farm around the turn of the century. Maybe what I have is someone who didn't want to leave. Anyway, one day I went down to my barn, and everything was locked up as I always make sure it is every night. All the windows and doors were bolted. But my Clydesdale mare, Bev, who was locked in the barn the night before, was outside. No way she could get out unless she unlocked all the doors and then re-locked them. Other times I've gone down and found Bev's mane braided. I've also discovered that my older mare, Carrie, had had her tail trimmed, and once her mane was feathered - a complex job that I can't even do, and that takes a competent horse person more than an hour to accomplish. Recently Carrie and Bev's tails have been trimmed. The ghost farmer seems to have a real interest in draft horses.

Other times I've found the lights on when I know I've turned them off, or the door to the haymow open when I know it was closed. Sometimes the radio I had turned off is on, or it's tuned to a different station than the one I usually have it on. The ghost farmer seems to prefer country and western. I know that it's not a neighbor playing a joke, because I have about 400 collective pounds of doberman here who raise a ruckus when a leaf falls, let alone when someone comes around. All of this has been going on for about 4 years, ever since I started keeping horses. The ghost farmer means no harm. In fact, I think he saved one of my horses. A couple of years ago, Bev got sick. Really, really sick. Dying sick. But it was an ailment that no one could have seen just by looking at the horse. Something kept nagging at me, saying, "Call the vet for Bev. Do it. Do it NOW." I fought the feeling for a couple of days, then called the vet on nothing more than that feeling. And the vet told me if I'd waited another day, Bev would have been dead from a still undiagnosed blood ailment, and he was just amazed that I'd called based on nothing more than a feeling. Well, of course I called. Thanks, ghost farmer. Whoever you are, you can stay. Just stop leaving the haymow door open, please.

I've never seen my ghost farmer. I don't need to. I'm not afraid of him, because I know he means no harm. I suspect he comes in the dark, but I guess he could be there other times that I'm not in the barn.

My ghost farmer... I think I'll keep him!

Wendy Wishart, Nova Scotia, Canada
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