The bush at the bottom of my garden is haunted. I don’t know what haunts it, or even how long it has been that way. Truth be told, it seems like a perfectly ordinary bush to me. I’ve never seen a ghostly face lurking between the branches, nor a spectre of a Tudor woman pruning the leaves. I’m rather sceptical that it even is haunted, but my dog insists.
In the daylight, he doesn’t look twice at the offending shrubbery. But at night it’s a different matter. When the witching hour strikes he goes to wait by the door. If you don’t let him out within five seconds he’ll come and fetch you before returning to the door. The hell-gate has opened and you’re just wasting time. He doesn’t just need the toilet – you can tell by his alert stance and his pricked-up ears. It’s not a call of nature, it’s a call of the supernatural.
The moment you open that door he’s off like the headless horseman. He bolts out, considerately bypasses the plant pots, and then swings in an arc and charges headfirst into the bush, barking like a hellhound. Casper the Horticultural Ghost is no doubt trembling with terror at this point, but the paranormal pooch isn’t done. He rockets across to the other end of the garden, before whipping around for one final charge – flying headfirst into the demon bush like a stake into Dracula’s heart.
Evil has been conquered this night, but tomorrow is a new day. When the sun goes down there will be a new darkness building in the bush; possibly the gravest threat yet. I’m not afraid though. As long as The Ghostbusters: Canine Division are on duty, I know I’m protected from otherworldly dangers.
Sleep tight, Planet Earth. You are defended.