Hello my pretties! Ready for a spookalicious story?
*cackles and strokes chin wart*
No matter where we grew up, most of us can remember a mean or eccentric neighbor, a creepy old house that was supposedly haunted, or a place we were afraid (or not allowed) to frequent for one reason or another.
It was the kind of thing where we were both curious and terrified at the same time. We hungered for more even as we trembled in our boots. It’s wonderful how local lore and enduring legends figured in our childhoods, how we bore witness to the dynamic process of their evolution.
In The Pomegranate Witch (Chronicle Books, 2017), Denise Doyen and Eliza Wheeler serve up a deliciously eerie and suspenseful tale of five neighborhood kids who battle a green twiggy-fingered Witch for fruit from her haunted, zealously-guarded pomegranate tree.
Beyond the edge of town,
where streetlights stopped and sidewalks ended,
A small boy spied a farmhouse in a field long untended —
And before its sagging porch, amid a weedy foxtail sea,
Found the scary, legendary, haunted pomegranate tree.
The gnarled tree loomed high and wide; its branches scraped the ground.
Beneath there was a fort, of sorts, with leafed walls all around.
Its unpruned limbs were jungle-like, dirt ripplesnaked with roots,
But glorious were the big, red, round, ripe pomegranate fruits.