Every child over the age of 6 months knows about the boogeyman. Every child has been told. Every child has seen at least some part of one….
The scraping of the fingernails. The stink of old cabbage farts emanating from under your bed. UNDER the very bed you have been tucked in by your loving parents. Parents who have forgotten the boogeyman. Parents who do not believe you when you try to explain.
You say you don’t believe in the Boogeyman? Well, my friend, it’s not a matter of believing. Even if you don’t believe in bear traps, if you step in one you are caught. Where did the boogeyman come from, well let me tell you.
Long ago, in the days before now, in a small village in the colder regions people barely eked by. They took from Mother Earth what they could, to survive. They took what they could, but it was seldom enough. There wasn’t much there to take. It was cold. Bone chilling cold. Clothes and blankets were made from whatever could be found; animal hides, twigs and branches, or leaves. Whatever could be found.
One fine Summer’s day, one of the elders spoke to the rest of the village. “This has not been a good year for gathering food. With the cold months soon to be here, let us dig caverns as the bear does, to weather the winter”. It was a heated debate. Most were fearful of both the ravaging storms of winter and the thought of being buried alive. Either fate was not a good one. Even the dissenters agreed to burrow down low for the winter months, for they knew that without the safety of numbers they would not survive.
Stores of food were “taken below”. Fire wood and water were also “taken below”. The town prepared itself for a long cold winter by digging tunnels running from one house to another. This was to ensure survival. For if one house collapse, another would stand. The village population would be out of the weather, slow down their metabolism like brother bear, to survive the winter months and live on.
One day late in February, during a normal meal time, the villagers were gathered together. The wind howled up above them They felt snug and smug. They laughed at Father Wind and Mother Nature. The villagers had outsmarted even the Gods. They pounded one another on their backs in congratulations.
Suddenly a snow eddy blew up. It swirled and howled and finally uprooted the very building above the villagers. The adults, ever nearest the fire, were sucked from the cavern. Cold air fanned the fire and set the villagers homes on fire. The fire leapt from building to building. Engulfing everything in its path. The fire raged on for days and days. The homes burned. The villagers clothes burned. The children’s toys burned. The few parents who survived being pulled from the caverns were overwhelmed with sorrow. They were certain they had lost their children to the fire. They were certain they had lost their children to the Gods. They wept frozen tears. They died holding one another in their fear and shame.
The children were frightened. The children had scurried further into the corners they had been placed by their parents. The children called out to their parents to come back and care for them. The children’s calls fell on deaf ears as the roar of the fire was too loud to call over. The distraught parents could not hear the calls of their frightened children.
What were the children to do? How would they survive without parents to guide them? They were children left to pay for the sins of their parents. They had no village to return to. They had no parents to heed. They only knew their parents arrogance got them swept away. To this end, they stayed within the caverns. They became fearsome to behold, for they have grown fur for warmth and long nails to dig with. To this day, the children of those villagers live in caverns beneath our homes only to come out at night, away from the watchful eyes of Mother Nature and Father Wind, to steal a crumb or a toy.
Fear not the boogeyman, rather pity them. For they are grown children grasping at toys and goodies under the beds of warm snuggly children.