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Leonardo Garza TX, USA

This is an urban legend from my part of the country told all around the farms in the state. My uncle told it to me one night at my dad’s ranch when I was 12. Funny how it happened at "my Dad’s ranch".

Thomas and Alfred were two best friends. Whenever it got hot, they would take their cows up to a cool, green pasture in the mountains. Usually they stayed there with the cows all summer. The work their in the mountains was easy, but really boring. All they did was tend their cows all day. They would return to their tiny hut and night. Every night they ate supper, worked in the garden, and went to sleep.

Then one day, Thomas said "Let’s make a life-size doll. We can put it in the garden and use it as a scarecrow." There was a farmer they both hated named Harold, so they decided to name the doll Harold and make it look like him. They made it out of straw and gave it a pointy nose and tiny eyes, like Harold’s. Day after day, they would tie Harold to a pole in the garden to scare away the birds. They brought it in the house every night. Sometimes, they would talk to it, saying things like "How’s it going?" And the other would say in a weird voice "Not good." Of course, Harold wouldn’t appreciate it. When they were in a bad mood, they would even curse at him or kick him.

A while later, when Thomas was taking out his anger on Harold, Alfred swore he heard the doll grunt. "Did you hear that? Harold grunted!" "Impossible, he’s just a sack of straw," replied Thomas. Alfred dismissed it, but they both stopped talking to it, kicking it, or even touching it, they just left him neglected in the corner of the room.

After a while, they decided nothing was to be feared. Maybe a few bugs or rats were living in the straw. So they went back to their old routine. Every day, they would take it outside, and bring it back in at night. Then they even started treated him badly again.

One night, Alfred noticed something that scared him. "It looks like Harold is growing." "I was thinking the same," answered Thomas. "Maybe it’s just our imagination. I think the elevation is getting to us." The next morning, they saw Harold stand up and walk outstide, climb onto the roof, and he stayed there all night. In the morning, it came down and stood in the pasture. They got very scared and decided to flee. They took their cows and started heading back down for the valley. After going only a mile or so, they realized they had forgotten the milking stools. They knew they didn’t have the money to replace them, so Alfred forced himself back to get them. "I’ll catch up with you later. You just keep moving." After walking for a while, Thomas looked back at the hut and did not see Alfred. What he did see,however, horrified him. He saw Harold, on the roof of the hut, stretching out a bloody piece of flesh to dry in the sun.

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