Archive | August, 2017

Yesterday, I Saw the Devil

19 Aug

Yesterday, I saw the devil.

Although the calendar said August, the temperature dipped.  After days in the high 80s and low 90s, it seemed cool although, frankly, if this were April instead of August the university women would be preparing to worship the sun. Patchy fog developed and gathered in the troughs among the hillocks.  The soybeans, alfalfa, corn and the weeds growing in the wheat stubble hung heavy with dew.

I was bound for Findlay, Ohio, from my home in Upper Sandusky.  My immediate route took me north on Mifflin Township Road 97, just one of those meandering, one-lane country highways that require the utmost courtesy when meeting a traveler headed the other direction.  (Sharing the road takes on a new meaning when the right side of your vehicle is on the berm instead of the asphalt.)  It would be preposterous to even consider passing a vehicle going the same way while patience is developed when following farm machinery.  It’s the kind of byway that my father would have enjoyed; his father’s eye would assess the corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. I still hear his admonition to “slow up” so that he could take it all in.

As I rounded a bend on Township Highway 97 about thirty-two hundred feet from State Route 294, there stood the devil about fifty feet from the road on my right in the soybean field.

Just his head was visible.  Our eyes met for a fleeting instant.  He stood immobile.  He appeared just like my Sunday School teacher described him with horns … dark skin … bulbous nose … black eyes.  Cloven foot?  Probably, but I couldn’t see because the lower part of his body was hidden by the soybeans.  Involuntarily my right foot pressed the accelerator; I sped away … all the while that voice in my head — my father’s voice — urged me to “slow down.”  Thank you, no.  I wanted to escape.

The image haunted me throughout the day.