April 5, 2009

Hafford, Saskatchewan

Willard Schute got drunk one night. On the way home in his Volkswagon Rabbit he cut across Wiley's field. They found the car next day, crashed in a freshly dug eight-foot basement. Willard had abandoned his ride and walked home, surprised but still drunk. This was in the 70s, when Mr. Wiley built that house.

There's a ghost on the train tracks near Hafford. A light, floating. If you're lucky you can walk right up to it. It moves backwards and forwards, and makes a quiet, squealing sound. The mayor talked about it on the radio. He laughed. I understand why, but wish he wouldn't have.

There are crooked trees nearby. They're normal pine, but crooked. For a hundred feet they grow twisted and then the forest is normal. Someone roped it off and built wooden paths. There's a small sign, says, The Crooked Trees of Hafford, Saskatchewan with a painting of a tiger lily underneath.

Hafford's not much of a town.

The gas station has a restaurant attached. They serve eggs until 11am every day of the year except Ukrainian Christmas.

Some American hunters shot a goat just outside it at 5am last year. Nearly scared the owner, old retired Mrs. Scurfield, to death.

Hafford, Saskatchewan. Population: 853. We've sent 13 men to the NHL.

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