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The Indian on the Farm

Cathy Rusyniak, New Jersey, USA
October 1999

My mother has recounted this story all her life.

When my mother was a little girl, she and her parents, 2 sisters and 1 brother used to spend their summers on her aunt and uncle's farm in New York State. The house on the farm Aunt Helen and Uncle John owned was a very old home. There was no plumbing, just an outhouse! I remember my mother telling me there were 5 doors leading into the kitchen, the biggest room in the house. The house had been owned by another family for many years before our aunt and uncle bought it, and the land and house needed a lot of work.

Aunt Helen and Uncle John had 3 children of their own, so sleeping room was limited when my mother and her family visited. My mother and her sister used to sleep on a bed in the attic with their parents. My grandmother and grandfather slept on the edges of the bed, with my mother and her sister in the middle.

One night when my mother was about 9 or 10 years old (1945), they were sleeping in the attic as usual when she was awakened by someone pulling on her big toe. She woke up terrified to find an American Indian standing at the foot of the bed pulling on her toe, trying to drag her out of bed. My mother screamed and my grandparents woke up. My grandfather saw the Indian and spat at him (not a very nice thing to do!). He immediately vanished. Later it was discovered that an Indian's gravestone had been moved from the field on the farm so crops could be planted. The gravestone was moved under a tree at the edge of the field, but the body of the Indian was left behind and I guess he didn't like that very much!

Cathy Rusyniak, New Jersey, USA
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