This is a strange one, because mom used to tell us this story when we asked for a good scare. She was a live participant in the story this time.
Mom grew up on a farm. She, her brothers and sisters, did a lot of the gardening to provide food for the family. To put it in mom’s words, she is not a stranger to ‘diggin taters’.
To set the stage properly, it was a windy day. It felt like a storm was blowing up. The wind was whistling through the trees, sounding like someone trying to talk to you. The air was thick and heavy, reminding everyone summer storms can be dangerous and you do not want to get caught out in the field in one. Mom was trying to rush everyone, so they could get back to the house without getting caught in the weather.
My Aunt Jo said to mom, ‘did you hear that?’ Mom told her she didn’t hear anything and keep working. Then, my other Aunt Bib asked mom the same question. She yelled at the two of them to quit playing games and get back to work.
My Uncle Owen decided to keep what he had heard to himself, because he didn’t want my mother yelling at him. Truth be told, it sounded like the wind was talking to them and he knew mom had heard exactly what the other three had.
There appeared to be a voice in the wind saying;
‘Who has my big toe? I want my big toe!’
The four kids kept working, wanting to make grandma happy with the amount of potatoes they brought back. The wind continued to whistle and all four kids were starting to hear the voice.
Who has my big toe? I want my big toe!’
By this time, they had enough potatoes for a couple of days, so they gathered their tools and tater sack and headed back to the house. No one said a word to anyone about the strange voice.
That night in bed, Aunt Jo and Uncle Owen woke mom up to tell her they were hearing the voice in the house. The difference was, it was followed by footsteps. She quickly told them it was their imagination and to get back to bed.
She tried to get back to sleep, but discovered sleep eluded her.
She heard someone say, ‘Who has my big toe?’
All she could do was think about what she had just heard. She also heard every noise, bump and bang the house made in the night.
The next day, mom and the other kids were outside playing when they heard Grandma Frank scream. They went running into the kitchen to see what the problem was.
Grandma Frank had dumped the bag of taters in the sink to clean them up and prepare them for storage. She was standing near the sink shaking from head to toe and pointing at the sink. She was mumbling incoherently. Mom went to the sink and peered inside. Laying there, among the potatoes they had dug up yesterday, was a big toe!