Monday, May 22, 2006

Evangeline (Part Four)

For a small town, Sommerville has had its share of strange happenings. There’s been UFOs, Big Foot sightings, and the time the clock on city hall started running backwards.

I’ve noticed that whenever something inexplicable occurs, people polarize in to three groups. The first group believes that the event in question is God’s doing, the second group believes that it’s the devil’s doing, and the third group believes that there must be a scientific explanation for it, no matter what.

There was no shortage of inexplicable events while Evangeline was with us. Many of the stories can’t be confirmed because there was only one witness. But I can tell you first-hand what I saw one summer when Evangeline was about 8 years old.

The girl wasn’t like other girls her age. She didn’t care about Barbie Dolls, or television, or make-up, or the right way to wear her hair. She loved singing and being outdoors. Her parents would find her lying in the tall grass watching the wind move through the tops of the trees, or picking wildflowers, or wading in a creek. Evangeline loved the rolling hills, green pastures, and blue skies of Virginia.

There are a lot of dairy farms here in Sommerville. One of the largest is about a half a mile from my house. When I go for walks, I walk that way. The pasture is full of cows grazing lazily and not paying attention to much else. I was walking along the fence that summer when I realized the cows were missing. I thought maybe the dairy had moved them to another pasture, so I kept walking. Up ahead, I noticed a blur of insects hovering over the tall grass. As I got closer, I realized it was butterflies. Hundreds and hundreds of butterflies of every color, shape and size you can imagine.

Then I saw Evangeline, lying on her back, eyes closed, and hands folded on her chest. In a circle around her were the missing cows. Every one of them lying on the ground as well. Above them, the butterflies. It was a strange scene to say the least. I stood there for a moment, and when she opened her eyes, the butterflies disappeared in every direction. Now I taught science for 35 years and I can tell you truthfully, some of those butterflies are not native to this part of the U.S. And when was the last time you saw cows lying in a circle? Inexplicable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The cows must be the same ones in the Far Side comic. This is very good, mystery. You are good at a lot of things, it seems.