As Nana Lou mentioned awhile back, the Burgeron children have been enjoying evening readings of fairy tales, often by the campfire. Most evenings after dinner, when the weather is fine (as it often is here in Bovine County), we all gather ’round a fire, singing songs and telling stories–sometimes even a ghost story or two. The Burgeron children aren’t scared of ghost stories, of course, what with I and Little Boo being the family ghosts and so friendly and all.
Well, this being the Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival and all, the other night Nana Lou decided to tell a fairy tale, the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. And as often happens when we’re all gathered together, it turned into a collaborative story, with lots of us participating:
You might be wondering how we got those sound effects in there, what with this story being told around the evening campfire. Well, as you may know, we ghosts have a way with being able to make all kinds of strange sounds, and Little Boo was working in the background, adding the sound effects.
You might also be wondering why Mama Boo’s voice is accompanied by those strange “ooooh” sounds. Well, I’m a ghost after all! It comes with the territory.
Little Boo and I decided to take a little trip before our family reunion in August. We’ve spent the past few days in Rome–our first time here. You can see Little Boo in front of a fountain in the Piazza Navona in the picture here. No one seemed to care too much that there were ghosts in the Piazza; I guess they’re used to seeing all kinds of things from tourists.
I made a radio bumper that focuses on one of the bullets in particular:
DS106 is art psychotherapy if you want to use it that way
I have used ds106 that way, many times. And it has saved my mental state. I think because of the wonderful people I have been able to meet and make art with. So this bullet point really resonated with me.
So, I made this. I asked my friend Christina Hendricks to upload it to her Soundcloud account because it’s hard to get an account with these things when one is not a living person.
And once you hear the story, can you blame me? It’s bad enough for folks to wrap their heads around having ghosts in their town, but ghosts who have been abducted by aliens? Why, I figured that might just be too much. And after having been nearly run out of town once, I didn’t want to risk it again.
But now with the other stories of alien abductions, including that of Don Burgeron, well, I think people are just scared enough about the aliens in general to not worry about us in particular. And I gotta say I’m real worried too, because though I don’t remember what happened to us up there in that spaceship, I do have an inexplicable dread whenever I come close to a cow. Which is a real problem here in Bovine, I can tell you. And Little Boo? Well, let’s just say he doesn’t enjoy stories about and spaceships and rockets and aliens like lots of other little boys do. Won’t get near a book about the planets or the stars, no sirree.
I’ve got a huge sense of relief that the story has finally come out, like I don’t have to hide anything anymore. But boy am I worried about the rest of the folks here in Bovine. Why are the abductions starting again? We haven’t had any here since Little Boo and I became the Boos. I thought those aliens had left us for good, but I guess they really like us here in Bovine County. Or maybe it’s a different set of aliens, doing different things to people? I shudder to think just what is going on.
I only hope turning people into ghosts is the worst they do.
Well, motivated by Mama Boo and her 5 card story. I decided to inform the family I am on my way using the very same technique to tell of my departure from my mountain retreat. Every family needs a Boo!
Dr M. had heard in her mountain retreat that @gifadog has stayed dog through the Zombie TvsZ land apocalypse and had arrived into Bovine. He was now hiding at the tree house worried about the noises outside…. He had seen photos on the InterWebz of Anny Cow being taken by a drone, or so he thought. He was not going to befall that same fate. She wired a message to Gifadog to stay put, she would be on her way soon. There was much work waiting for her at the tree house, her in tray was full. This Burgeron family was going to need much fun and laughter this summer, after all the abductions and rumours emerging in Bovine. Dr M was keen to create a play-and-think space for the kids of the family who were coming to stay for the summer to learn computer skills. Reluctantly, she packed her bags, got in the car and headed for Bovine, Texas.
Mama Boo here, working on my first assignment for the family computer classes.
Here we are in the first week of computer class, and we’re talking about storytelling. One of the things I liked best about this week’s computer class is the “story spine,” which you can use to build all kinds of stories. Basically, you set up the story with a narrative of what usually goes on, setting the stage with the normal, as it were, and then you have a “then one day” section that introduces the event. What’s the event? Whatever you want it to be! Then the characters have to react to that (“and because of that…” “and because of that…” etc.), until the climax portion of the story (“until finally …”). Then it ends with some kind of resolution or change and there’s a new normal (“and ever since then…”).
So here’s the Boos’ story using the story spine.
Once upon a time there was a mother and son, who lived happily in Bovine County, milking the cows and feeding the pigs and raising hay and such. The boy had just started school and he was very excited about learning, especially about animals and bugs, and soon he didn’t want to milk the cows any more but just read books. Etc.
Then one day... [well, this is the part I’m not going to tell; this is the mystery part and you can try to figure how how and why] … they became ghosts.
And because of that,the family got real scared and tried to get rid of them, thinking the ghosts were something that needed to be purged, something frightening. But the mother and son just tried to show them that they were just as friendly as before, no need to try to exorcise them or burn down the house or move the whole farm. It took quite a bit of convincing, and the kids were the ones to first take a shine to the ghosts. Well, especially Little Boo, whom they had missed so terribly and were excited to play with again. Eventually nearly everyone decided that the Boo’s (as they now came to be affectionately known) were a welcome re-addition to the Burgeron family. Those that didn’t like it, well, they just had to hold their peace because the Boo’s were here to stay.
And because of that, Mama Boo and Little Boo continued to participate in the daily life of the Burgeron family through the generations, each child growing up thinking that ghosts were just a normal part of life. They felt bad when they discovered at school that other kids weren’t so lucky as to have ghosts living at their house. Some of the neighbour kids told their parents, who told the sheriff, who told the state police, who said “ah heck, Marty, we know the Boo’s from way back. Lighten up a little. It’s the 20th century, and it’s time to welcome ghosts into our communities.” Sheriff Marty wasn’t really convinced, but he knew enough to keep his head down and go along with it.
Until finally … the county commissioners got involved. Someone in Bovine had read an obscure article in an even more obscure medical journal from across the globe suggesting that a community with ghosts living in the open, visiting different buildings with impunity, had seen a jump in the death rate from unexplained causes since the ghosts came out of hiding. And boy if that didn’t cause a ruckus at a public meeting called precisely to discuss the issue. The Burgerons and their friends defended the ghosts, but the tide seemed to be going against them. It looked like the ghosts may be run out of town. The county even called in the Texas Daredevils, the motorcycle dispatch.
But before the final vote, the flood came. No, not the big one of ’57, but one bad enough to take everyone’s mind off the ghosts for a bit. And wouldn’t you know it, Mama and Little Boo became heroes. At least for a time. They were able to warn a family who was sleeping through the flood that the water was rising quickly under their beds and they’d better get to the top of the house, quick. Which they did. And after the flood, no one much felt like bringing back the no-ghosts-in-our-backyard issue.
And ever since then, the Boo’s have lived quietly with the Burgerons, occasionally venturing out into the wider world, but mostly happy to stay at home. The people of Bovine County know the value of a bit of spirit activity here and there.
Many of you who are familiar with the Burgeron family know of the family ghosts, Mama Boo and Little Boo. See here for a post about Mama Boo that has a link to another about Little Boo.
In that post, Mama Boo says she’s not gonna tell us what happened to them or how they became ghosts because she says all that matters is that they’re still around and hanging out with the family and having fun and singing and such, so why dwell on how they got there? But really, how can she think we’re going to just rest with that? There have been rumours ever since she and Little Boo showed up, so many years ago that few can now remember when it was. It was all so hush hush at the time that no one seems to have written down what happened, and now those who can remember aren’t around anymore.
Some say the Boos drowned in the floods of ’57, but that makes no sense because we know they were around before that. At least, that’s what I heard from someone who said she heard it from one of the family members, who heard it from his grandpa, who said he distinctly remembered them being around during the war to end all wars.
Some say they succumbed to that god-awful flu that wiped out so many people during that god-awful war, but so did several members of the family, and why were the Boos the only ones to hang on as ghosts? Others say they died in an accident involving the family still, and the strength of that backwoods brew kept them going as ghosts for the foreseeable future. Well maybe, but then why aren’t the rest of the Burgerons who took some mighty big draughts of that stuff while alive also ghosts after they passed on?
I got no answers here, only rumours and unasnwered questions. Somehow we gotta get that Mama Boo talking.