‘I seen it, I say, I seen it. T’was huge and monstrous!’
‘Order! Order!’ Hammered the judge.
I sat there looking at the horrified faces in the courtroom.
‘You should’ a seen her, poor Leslie!’
‘Who’s Leslie?’ asked the judge.
‘That’s his cow, your Lordship!’ answered a man standing next to the witness. They both looked like poor peasants wearing mud stained clothes.
‘Ya’ should ‘a seen her!’ repeated the witness. ‘She was torn apart, her guts everywhere, as if a beast had just opened’er up!’
‘It’s true!’ shouted a man sitting in the room. ‘I’ve seen it!’
‘Wolves!’ said another.
‘Wolves?’ said the man next to the witness. ‘No wolf could have done that!’
‘T’ was a beast!’ said the witness. ‘A beast!’
My heart beat fast.
The crowd was out of control.
‘Order! Order!’ shouted the judge. ‘Continue, Mr. Potter!’
‘I saw it run away. It’was as big as Leslie!’
‘Was it not a wolf?’
‘No, much bigger!’
‘Never seen a bear around here, your Lordship!’
The judge, a tiny man with bushy eyebrows leaned over his bench and faced the witness, Mr. Potter.
‘But it was dark, are you sure it was that big?’
‘We found marks, your Lordship,’ said the man standing next to the witness.
The entire room buzzed. The gavel fell once more.
‘Order, I say or I’ll throw you all out!’ shouted the judge then continued calmly. ‘What marks did you find, Mr. Thomas?’
‘A mark of the paw…this size!’ Mr. Thomas showed the size of half a meter. People buzzed softly. It only took the judge one look at them to keep them quiet again.
I suffered in silence. The size of the paw…it could have been accurate.
‘Has anyone else seen this…paw mark?’ asked the judge.
‘Me and me boys saw it, sir!’ A peasant stood up in the crowd. He gestured to three children next to him who stood up as well, two boys and a girl. All four of them were covered in dirt and dressed in ragged clothes.
I was sure they had seen it. I was sure it was real. This scared me the most.
‘This time it was a cow, next time who knows!’ shouted the father of the children. The crowd turned wild, beyond control.
‘We need to take measures!’ shouted the judge. But, I am not sure to whom he was talking. Half of the courtroom was in chaos. Not even his gavel could save him now.
‘Let’s go home!’ said my cousin, Aidan.
On the way back home we exchanged no words. Aidan was worried even though before the hearing he said the entire situation was pure nonsense. After the hearing something inside him changed and made him doubt that. That doubt scared me. I preferred him clueless…for now.