The children watched the old woman’s house as the townsman light it aflame. They never knew a little lie could go so far. “They didn’t have to kill her,” a boy whispered loud enough for the other children to hear. She was known as ‘the old lady with too many cats.’ Though she mostly kept to herself, she wasn’t bitter. When children hit a fly ball over her fence she gladly let them get it back while making jokes about not needing a baseball. The older women around town invited her to various knitting and tea parties. She always kindly refused. That’s when the children started to make up stories about her. “She raises them cats so she can eat ’em,” one boy would say. “No she eats the rats the cats catch for her,” another child squealed, as all the others laughed. Then the stories grew more intense. “I saw green light coming from her windows. “She’s a witch! She’s a witch!” the children chant and laugh. The children didn’t know the adults took their stories seriously. Soon the adults started making their own false accusations. “She cast a spell so a drought would dry up our farms.” One day when a child didn’t come home for dinner in time, the parents went insane and made the whole town go out and search for him. When the child was found in the old lady’s back yard the townspeople automatically came to the wrong conclusion. While the boy was just getting a baseball, which got hit over the fence, the parents concluded that the old lady kidnapped their little boy to cast horrible spells on. The townspeople screamed with fury. “Burn her, burn her house down!” the men chant with anger. The old lady didn’t have much of say as they barricaded her door and lit the house aflame. …
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