Anyone who lives with cats has observed this strange behavior.
The olde folks say that when the silvery light of the harvest moon
strikes the edge of the oak grove at just the right angle
Something from the roots of the pin oaks
slithers out and comes to life.
They say that when that Something from the roots
comes alive, it snakes its way into the
local feline population and bewitches them
like some primal bizarre fairy tale,
and their eyes gleam like rubies
middle of the bright moonstruck night.
Their backs arch and their rat-thin tails bush up
as big as evergreen trees and this frightens them
so that they bush up even larger.
They go seeking fresh meat dripping with warm blood,
even those who usually turn up their
nose at anything but their everyday kibble,
their eyes big and dark and luminous
in the moonlight their howls will
raise the hair on the back of your neck.
The males seek females
and the young and frisky chase the old
until they fall down in a heap from exhaustion.
Hissing (oh, you've never heard such a noise!)
and growling and general caterwauling
can be heard all the way to the far side of the village
during those nights when the harvest moon
alights the edge of the grove.
At dawn the Thing slithers back
to its womb of roots and soil and stones
to await the next emergence
and the cats skulk back home,
blink their dilated eyes in surprise
at the sunlight,
curl up, and ease their heads down
on their paws and wait…
wary and watchful,
for the next harvest moon.
Reprinted from HALLOWEEN THIRTEEN--A Collection of Mysteriously Macabre Tales
Copyright ©2014 Bobbi A. Chukran