When I saw the following photo on Jason’s blog, I knew I had to think of a story to go with it. Thanks Jason for taking such a beautiful photo and for the inspiration. For more of his photos feel free to check out his blog, http://jasonfrels.com/2021/10/19/evening-reflections/
Wow! Catching her breath, she stood transfixed in front of the lake. The sun was hitting the boulders just right, and the scene was dazzling. No wonder this was believed to be a magical lake. Not that she believed in magic at all, that wasn’t why she had come.
Trish had heard the stories, the ones that circulated around. One would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the magical lake and things that were seen there. Around the water cooler at work one always knew that someone would mention the lake and then the stories would start, “Did you hear…?” . “Did you know what happened to…” That would usually be the sign to Trish that her break was over and she would find more sanity back at her desk. Rolling her eyes she would walk away.
Today she was supposed to have gone away with a friend to hike some and camp overnight in the woods, but her friend woke up sick, so the plans fell through. Not wanting to waste a beautiful Saturday, she decided to go out hiking on her own. While driving she passed by the sign for the lake and decided to stop. She had to admit that she was curious about what this “magical” lake looked like. Now that she was standing in front of it, if she did believe in magic then she could see it happening here.
Deciding to spend some more time here she sat down and opened a book. She was planning on hiking, but it was so surreal here. Why not take a little time to relax and read. That was why she always kept a book in her car, one never knew when it would come in handy.
In no time at all she became lost in the story, lying in the grass and basking in the sunlight.
What was that? Looking up from her book she looked around, but didn’t see anything. Thinking it must have been the wind that rustled some leaves she went back to reading her novel.
A few moments later she heard it again. This time Trish was sure that her ears weren’t playing tricks on her. It wasn’t the wind. Standing up she looked all around feeling her skin start to prickle a little. Not being one to get scared easily she wasn’t too worried, but she did want to know where, oh where was that weird sound coming from!
The story that Jan told on Friday came back to her. No, that couldn’t be, Jan was a dizzy blonde, thought Trish. But she couldn’t deny it, the sound was exactly how Jan had described it. The high pitch noise hurt her ears and sounded like it would shatter glass! Jan hadn’t stayed long enough to find the source of it, she had ran back to her car.
Well Trish wasn’t going to be a scaredy cat, she would not run only to regret it later. Holding her hands over her ears she scanned the lake once more and that was when she saw it in the distance. Some huge gray blob rising up from the water! Okay, now Trish may be breaking out in goosebumps as she forced herself to stand her ground. Hoping with all her might that she wouldn’t rue her decision to stay, as she stared at the huge blob which was coming more into focus.
It was a hippo! What was a hippo doing out here? At least she thought it was a hippo, but she never had seen a hippo like it before. Its neck was long. She was no expert on animals, but she did know that giraffes typically had long necks, not hippos. Trish stood there thinking about its long neck when it opened its mouth and out came that high pitch squealing, or was it singing? Was the long necked hippo actually singing?
Trish didn’t know what to think, either she didn’t have enough coffee this morning or … there really was something magical about this lake. It produced long necked singing hippos, if you could call it singing!
Now the other stories were coming back to her, could they be true as well? Jimmy had everyone laughing when he said he had seen a cow at the lake before. They told him cows were at farms and in meadows, not at a lake, but he was convinced it was a cow! He said its deep brown eyes were so big and seemed to look right through him. That it had a sparkling cowbell around its neck. Yeah, Jimmy liked to tell tall tales.
Trish covered her ears, the hippo was squawking again. She picked up her pace to get back to the car, deciding that a day spent reading on the couch with some strong coffee sounded pretty good to her. Walking back she started shaking. Feeling a sudden sensation that something was staring at her. Her breathing grew a little more rapid as she kept walking. She never did see the brown cow with a sparkling cowbell. The one whose gaze was fixed intently on her retreating back.