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The Old Man In TheTree

May 2007

I'd just come back from a three month holiday traveling through Ireland, visiting family and what-have-you but I will admit it was an interesting holiday...very interesting for I'd encountered a supernatural experience.

Winter was bloody freezing. I guess of living over thirty years in Australia where it's hot nearly everyday of the week, I guess I wasn't quite prepared for the European winter like I should have been.
I was staying at a YHA somewhere outside Galway (I'm not giving away the location of this YHA). The morning I arrived I booked myself in and did what you would normally would do after a long ride-relax and chat up with the girls that were residing there. Then proceed to the local bar for a few drinks and laughter.

The next day I decided to go and do some trekking through the mountains. I was up and at em' at Sparrows fart and was already climbing the hill before the dawn was even breaking through the clouds. I came across some old ruined house, a wall, an uncovered roof and a blackened fireplace with a steel rod above it where someone tried to cook their tucker. This was from the potato famine back in the 1860s and a couple of old headstones written in Irish, which I couldn't read. As I wandered around, I suddenly started feeling anxious about something as if I should not be here. You know, the butterfly effect in the pit of your stomach. And also I felt as if someone or something was watching me. The hairs on my neck (and I've a hairy neck) prickled. At the back of the ruin was a small patch of trees. I stood there looking at these strange, twisted trees when, to my surprise, I saw a little old man sitting in one of the twisted trees watching me watching him. It was like a Mexican Stand-off between me and this strange little old man in the tree. No, it wasn't a squirrel, in case you were thinking that, nor was it a cat. This was a real, or what looked to be a real, person. There was something about this that made me want to throw up so I decided to avoid the path where the weirdo was and continued to climb the hill.

Want to know the strange thing was?

I felt as if the whole thing just washed over me. Like as if it didn't happen. I stole a look behind me and, surprise, surprise, the little old man was gone. And so was I.
I got back shaking but I didn't tell anyone about what I saw in case they thought I must've eaten one of those magic mushrooms that grew in the mountains. (I didn't, folks, by the way. I don't touch drugs). Whatever I saw up in the mountains didn't want me to pass between those trees. Was he a guardian? I guess I'll never find out...or will I?

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