I felt terrible. I walked out the front door and walked around the house, just walking around and around it, hopping the fence at appropriate times, walking until people started watching. They gathered as I walked. I walked out at the widest possible location, for days and days, until I had worn a deep path, until I had worn out a low road, until I had worn a gulley. With drawbridge for the cars. Rope swing for the mailman. And it rained, or snow melted, or both, and the gulley filled up, a moat around the house, protecting it from things that couldn’t swim, fly, or jump pretty far, or swing across a rope, or operate a drawbridge.
I installed a toll booth at the drawbridge, and hired a band of passing banshees to operate it. I figured they were bored, and that’s why they screamed all the time, and I was right. They started singing instead, drawing people in, which was kind of a coincidence since it was a drawbridge. They collected lots of money, doing such a great job that I converted the toll booth into a stage, and put up an inflatable screen so I could rear project movies to accompany their performances. All the neighborhood residents came, and even beyond that into other neighborhoods, just to see the banshees perform.
Alas, the very thing that had tied all the banshees to this land was the wish fulfillment of performing for crowds, so it wasn’t long before they moved on to the afterlife, or whatever. Before they went, they promised to reward me for taking them in and showing them the way. I pointed out that I was walking around in circles the whole time, and happened upon them by accident, so I really hadn’t done anything.
They said that sometimes, during moments of inner reflection, we randomly encounter people who we help, intentionally or not, people who needed our help, and by doing something as simple as enabling those people to do what they always wanted to do, we find our own rewards. Sure enough, when spring came around, instead of the two trees I was shocked to discover a glade had sprung up overnight, with a family of deer living in, right there in the front yard. My family named all the deer. Of course, Jane Doe was the mother deer’s name. The father deer wasn’t John Doe, though, because that’s just weird.