“Once upon a time there was a spooky ol’ ghost dressed all in black.” That’s as far as she got! The littlest Kinney had a question. “If ghosts are just spirit.” She asked musingly, “Why do they need clothes at all?” “Good question.” Admitted Laura contemplatively. This line of thought peeked the children’s curiosity, resulting in several additional questions. “If ghosts wear clothes,” asked another, “do they have to warsh ‘em? Do ghosts get ring around the collar?” This resulted in an outburst of exuberant laughter, exacerbated by youthful enthusiasm. Lidge perked up and his face shone with recognition of his opportunity to participate. “I wonder,” he said, grinning with anticipation, “If ghosts get lint in their belly-buttons.” “Ghosts don’t have bellybuttons silly!” chimed the twins in unison, and the entire hollow rang with squeals of laughter.
In the middle of this jocularity, the briars rustled and in stepped two more youngsters. Mick and Sid O’Meara had overheard the ruckus from across the hollow and come to investigate the cause of all the merriment. Mick seemed to sense the jovial mood of the assembly almost immediately. He sprawled on the ground, rested his chin on his hands, and offered a yarn of his own. “You should have seen what happened at our house! There’s a big ol’ alligator turtle in our pond. The McCauley’s cow was standin’ belly deep, coolin’ off the other day, when that ol’ snapper swum up and bit the end right out o’ one o’ her spickets!” The kids all groaned and grabbed their chests. The response was spontaneous and only served to encourage the storyteller. “‘Fore we could get a tourniquet on her,” he continued, “that ol’ cow leaked out three buckets o’ buttermilk!”
“Oh, go on!” said Laura. “That’s nothin’!” announced Lidge. “We had a big ol’ wolf trap set at our pond, tryin’ to catch a darned ol’ coon. One o’ them big snappers got caught by the neck. ‘Fore we could drag him out and give ‘im what fore, that rascal chewed his head off and got clean away! A couple o’ days later he come draggin’ up the hill, fit as a fiddle and carryin’ his head in his mouth!” "Obie's Quest"