Daily after sunset, a young boy often saw an old lady creeping into the woods holding a lantern and then disappearing into the mist. One night, he heard the woman's faint cries for help. He ran into the woods to save her, unaware of the terrifying discovery he would make.
13-year-old Justin Lewis was new to the outskirts of Salem, Massachusetts. He had moved in with his parents, Carl and Jade Lewis, after his dad found a new carpentry gig here.
Justin's house was not that sophisticated. It was a humble little house with a lot of woodwork and a few fixes, but it was pretty cozy for a family of three.
Justin's parents had allowed him to explore the town alone, but he was strictly prohibited from venturing into the woods near their house. "Ferocious wild animals live there, so nobody is allowed to go there," Carl often said, frightening the boy.
Although Justin obeyed his parents' warnings, curiosity got the best of him one day when he saw a lonely old lady with a lantern disappearing into the woods after sunset...
Justin's parents had strictly prohibited him from going to the woods near their house. | Source: Unsplash
"No, mom, you have to believe me...I saw her going to the woods. She was holding a lantern," Justin told his mother. "Before I could go nearer, she just vanished."
"No! Don't do this! Please stop! ... No! ...No!," cried the lady. Justin ran into the woods to save the woman. But little did he know what he would find there.
"You must be seeing things. Nobody goes there during the daytime, let alone an old lady after sunset," Jade replied, brushing it off as nothing. "And I don't want you anywhere near that forest, alright?"
"Yes, mom. I won't go there, but I am sure I saw an old woman going there."
Justin was unable to sleep that night. He looked outside his window at the woods shrouded in mist and eerie darkness.
"What was she doing there? Dad said wild animals live there. Was she not scared of them?" he mumbled and fell asleep with several unanswered questions clogging his mind.
Justin was sure he saw an old lady with a lantern going into the woods, but his parents did not believe him. | Source: Pexels
The next morning, Justin went to town to meet a few people in the local tea shop. "Hi, I'm Justin...I just moved here a week back," he told a man drinking tea.
"Ah, so you must be the carpenter's son. You live in that old shack near the woods, right?"
"Yes. And why is nobody allowed to go into the woods?"
"Not sure. But my granny used to say that witches lived there in the 17th century. And they used to allure youngsters and children to the forest, and nobody knows what happened after that. There are more such fables," said the man who introduced himself as Charles, sipping onto his hot tea.
"Witches? I don't believe in them," Justin said.
"You won't believe it until you meet them," the man joked and walked away.
The boy made some new friends and explored the town all day long. On his way home that evening, after sunset, he again saw the old lady disappearing into the misty forest. This time, Justin was sure his eyes weren't deceiving him.
"Hey, wait...grandma...wait," he shouted and ran after her. But by then, the old lady had vanished into thin air. "Who is she? Shall I follow her? But what if dad finds out?"
Before Justin could see her clearly, the old woman disappeared into the mist. | Source: Pexels
Before Justin could step into the woods, he heard his mom calling out to him. He backed off and decided to find out about the woman later.
The following evening, he sat outside his house, staring at his watch and then the route the old lady took to the woods.
"She must be coming any minute...I should be ready," he muttered. "I will prove to mom and dad that I'm not imagining things."
Then he saw the older woman go into the woods and light her lantern. She was a bit late, and it was pretty dark. He almost got up to follow the woman when his mom called him to help her with the ladder. Justin couldn't deny his mom, so he quickly helped her, then rushed outside, but the old lady had already disappeared.
Justin standing at his doorstep in resignation when he heard a woman's faint cry emerging from the woods.
"No, don't do this! ...Please stop! ...No! ...No!" cried the lady. "Leave it! I said stop!"
Curious and scared, Justin ran into the woods to save the woman. But little did he know what he would find there moments later.
Justin followed the faint cries to save the woman in the woods. | Source: Pexels
The boy ran as fast as he could, and at a distance, he saw the old lady walking into the heart of the woods. The dry leaves and bushes rustled with each step he took.
Justin was scared. He heard wild animals howling at a far distance. Owls were hooting, and beetles were screeching. He breathed fast and hoped nothing stalked behind him. As he followed the woman, he bumped onto a root and collapsed, loud enough for the old lady to turn back and see him.
"What are you doing here, child?" the grandma shouted. "Are you spying on me? Don't follow me...go away or else I will...."
"No, grandma! I just heard someone cry and wanted to help."
"Go away, or else my children will scare you to death."
Justin started sweating. He didn't get what she meant by "children." He looked around and found nobody as far as the moonlight lit the dark forest. He got up and pretended to leave. But as the woman walked further, he crept behind her to find out what she was doing there alone at night.
Moments later, he gaped in horror as he followed her to an abandoned cabin in the woods. She lifted her lantern and walked in, calling out to someone. "Caesar? Bosco? Come here, boys! Mama is home!"
Moments later, Justin followed the old lady to an abandoned cabin in the woods. | Source: Unsplash
Curious and frightened, Justin walked closer to the house until he creaked open the door and froze at an unbelievable sight. Inside, the old woman was surrounded by some 20 dogs of different sizes. They were jumping on her, wagging their tails as she tossed them treats.
"Wha-what's going on? Grandma, what's happening here?" the boy shrieked, and the woman turned to him, terrified.
"You? I told you not to follow me! ...Now you'll tell everyone that I'm raising dogs here!"
"Wait a minute... Are you raising these dogs here? But why?"
"Yes, I've been caring for these dogs," the woman who introduced herself as Lorraine said. "I love dogs, and I've been bringing any stray dog I find in the city here to give it a good home...You must know how people abuse dogs in cities."
It turned out that granny Lorraine loved dogs from childhood. Growing up in the city, she often witnessed some people who abused dogs and mistreated them. So whenever she found a stray pup or dog, she would bring it to the cabin and raise it along with the other dogs.
Lorraine had no husband or children, and her dogs were her only companions. She would sneak into the woods daily after sunset to feed them and walk them for a while before locking them all inside again. Justin was startled and still could not understand why the lady had screamed.
Lorraine loved dogs & raised the stray dogs she rescued in the city in the secluded cabin. | Source: Pixabay
"So, did you mean these were your children?" Justin asked astonishingly. "Why did you scream then? And why do you come here only at night?"
"Yes, these are my children. And oh, that...I was screaming at my dogs, Bosco and Caesar. They were chasing a poor wild rabbit. I didn't want them to hurt it. I come here after sunset, so nobody sees me and finds my dogs."
"Oh...Your loud cries scared me to death... Um. do you mind if I come with you to help the dogs?"
"Are you sure? But will your parents allow you to come here?"
Justin knew his parents would be mad at him if they knew he was going to the woods. He devised a plan and assured granny Lorraine not to worry about that.
"Yes, mom, don't worry... My friend's dad has a jeep and will drop me home if it gets late," Justin lied to his mother.
The boy accompanied Lorraine to the forest for the next few days and helped her with her dogs. He had lied to his parents that he would be walking with his friends and be home a bit late.
This continued until Justin recalled his mom telling him about her friend who worked in the animal shelter. He decided to spill the truth and seek help for granny Lorraine and her dogs.
Justin lied to his parents while he helped Lorraine with her dogs. | Source: Pixabay
"How dare you lie to us? Do you know how risky it was to roam in the woods?" Carl yelled at Justin.
"That's it! You are no longer allowed to go outside after sunset. Is that clear?" Jade fumed.
But Justin argued and assured his parents that they would change their minds after seeing the helpless granny and her dogs. After deep thought, his parents agreed to meet the woman and her dogs in the woods the following afternoon.
"This is unbelievable! Don't worry. I'll talk to my friend. She should be able to help your dogs find a good home," Jade said after witnessing what their son had been talking about with her own eyes.
Shortly after, personnel from the animal shelter arrived at the cabin to take the canines. Granny Lorraine was reluctant to give them away, so he gave them a condition.
"I will let them take my children only if local people adopt them, and I should be allowed to visit them often," she said in tears. "I will frequently check my dogs to see if they are alright."
Granny Lorraine was reluctant to give her dogs to the shelter unless they agreed to her condition. | Source: Pixabay
After Jade and the animal shelter workers assured Lorraine, she let them take her dogs to the shelter. Ultimately, all 20 dogs were adopted by loving families in town.
Several months passed when Lorraine and Justin often visited each family that adopted the dogs. They took lovely treats with them, and unsurprisingly, the dogs could still recognize Lorraine and would jump on her with love and joy.
Ultimately, granny Lorraine realized that not all people were terrible to animals. She witnessed how the families loved her dogs and treated them as children. She shed tears of joy and was pleased they found a good home in the end. As for Justin, he found a loving grandma, and Lorraine found a kind grandson in him!
In the end, granny Lorraine realized that not all people were bad to dogs. | Source: Pixabay
What can we learn from this story?
Click here to read about a woman who took her dying dog to his favorite spot in the woods for the last time and found treasure there.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com.
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