Unlike some of my fellow human-kind, ProfessorRoush has never quite bitten on the lure of the supernatural. Sure, I have always liked a good scary movie, particularly in the company of a younger Mrs. ProfessorRoush. In those days, she reacted to fright by clinging all the more avidly to my brawny gardening arms. Scare the current Mrs. ProfessorRoush and she's just as likely to take a swing at you.
The whole gobbledygook of ghosts and goblins and garden gnomes, fairies or elves is not part of my fantasy world, and as much as I liked Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, or even Brendan Fraser as the hero in the modern "Mummy" films, I seldom worry about encountering such creatures in real life. I normally agree with Rod Serling, host of The Twilight Zone, who said, "There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on." At least that's what I tell myself on dark nights on the Kansas prairie when the wind is howling outside. And when I'm trying to decide at twilight if the dark lump in my landscape is a known bush or a browsing deer or a Sasquatch.
I briefly reconsidered my thoughts on the other dimensions last weekend, however, when I noticed the little tunnel as pictured above, heading darkly under the roots of a Purple Smoke Tree. Just for an instant, one can believe that this Hole would be a perfect little entry to Alice's Wonderland, the motivation for any number of fantastic tales. Shrink me down, and how far would I tumble here before I encountered the Red Queen? What sort of creatures, do you think, have made this Hole a haven? Mundane little prairie frogs or mice? An intrepid little pixie or goblin? If a leprechaun had popped out of The Hole right as I discovered it, I wouldn't have batted an eye. Surely, on this prairie, I'm not about to poke The Hole with a stick. With my luck, it wouldn't be a grouchy gnome that would answer, it would be an unreasonably angry copperhead snake with vengeance on its mind.
I won't do anything as rash as creating a fairy garden to lure something out of the Hole (the picture at the left is from a friend's garden), but I will watch this Hole for activity, perhaps spreading a few grass clippings on the bare ground so I can detect movement in and out of it. In the process, I may discover new things about my prairie ecosystem, or I might be permanently perplexed at this prairie perforation, or I might yet discover that I'm just another part of the Matrix and learn something of the unknown worlds beneath our feet. The mere discovery of this Hole has convinced me that I should at least be more open to the viewpoint of Woody Allen, who stated, "There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?"