Last night when I got home from the Funky K, the Garden Gnomes were out working in their yards
Unckle and his goodwife Nanca live around the bend in the path from Old Alba’s house. I haven’t seen her out yet, but that is hardly surprising, because she has the Watcher’s cloak that hides her from view most of the time. She always watches the Woods, and will raise an alarm if anything dangerous leaves the Wood, although nothing has for the last 15 years. I will try to encounter her next time she is visible, and post her photo here. In the meantime here is part of her story.
“She had been a watcher for over 30 years, and in all that time she had only seen 1 fellow, a friend of her mate Rogather, come out of the Wood. The two had passed beyond the sunlight into the dense dark earlier that same day, against her sage advice, mind you, looking for some goats who had, they thought, been stolen ( later the three goats were found down the pathway to Unckle’s house… engaged in a feasting…on some rotten potatoes Unc had thrown onto his compost pile), but they had not listened to her! So that when Haperound had burst out of the wood an hour or two later, running for his life, as if pursued by demons, hysterically screaming that something had taken Rogath, she was not that surprised. When he had barely paused a moment by Alba in her watching chair to report the loss of his friend before speeding breathlessly along the path towards his home, she was not that upset because she knew her mate was a smart, resourceful man, and that he was sure to be just a few feet behind his friend. However, after waiting a long while, no Rogather, but she did hear banging and trampling sounds from the wood she made the decision to sound the alarm and alert the others who quickly responded with weapons to guard the way. But nothing had followed Haperound. After a few hours when it became clear that nothing was chasing the affrighted Haperound out of the wood they had all returned to their own homes. To this day Rogather had never returned, Alba tried to recruit villagers to search for her mate, but no one was willing to enter the wood. Hap’s story, so wild and disjointed, and he, so frightened he never recovered but lapsed into an almost catatonic state, in which he remains to this day, had so alarmed the villagers that no one had been foolish enough to enter the wood and nothing had come out of the wood in all that time. Until now… “