When I woke up that morning I asked my mother if she had heard any noise and she said she did and we must get rid of those rats. That reassured me and I dropped the subject and forgot all about it in a few days as I didn’t hear any more noises.
My school hadn’t started yet and I didn’t know anyone in village; also there was no cable network there; I spent my time wandering around. The houses around were fairly distant from each other. Opposite our house on other side of the main street a little further on was a big old house, too old in fact but not as old as it’s inhabitants. A husband and a wife, they must be at least a hundred years old. Hedge around the house had become a thicket you could hardly imagine there could be a house at first glance. That was the last house on Main Street and right outside where that property ended was an enormous banyan three with its hundreds of aerial roots, a few of them not aerial anymore but had found their way back in earth. Further on both sides of street were only fields, woods and bushes. Sometimes in the middle of the night I heard slashes of axe like someone cutting a tree from the direction of the banyan tree but the tree was whole whenever I saw it.
Soon my school started and I made some friends and as soon as my parents acquainted with some villagers, we heard quite a few stories about different people of village; whom we didn’t know yet, and some other stories of various parts of the village, ‘the usual village ghost tales.’ Our regular story teller was a tall; broad shouldered; solid woman who dropped by nearly every evening, some times accompanied by her husband who contrasting to her was a short and stout man with a squeaky voice, since our house was on the way to their farm. No one in my family believed those tales, but then one evening a story told by the husband while the wife tried without success to hush him turned out to be the most exciting one. It was concerning the house we were living. The tale was, ‘The house owner’s wife died in that house; and she didn’t die a natural death; and her spirit still dwells in the attic’, The attic which was always locked; for the owner said he kept his old furniture and kitchen utensils, ‘people says they have seen her after her death’… even if my parents didn’t believe it, I wasn’t sure about not believing the tale. So I asked one of my friends in school and he said he had heard the stories but didn’t believe them either.
To be continued……