Instead of the angular form that one would expect to feel on the shoulders of a massive canine, I felt a smooth, bowl-like outline! It was completely unnatural for a dog’s cranium, but bore the general shape of a circular piece of pottery. On the sides of the invisible sphere were the unmistakable indentions of handle holds. At the outer edge was a thick sculpted rim. The ‘headless hound’ trembling before me was apparently the unfortunate prisoner of a large bucket-shaped planter!
I thought about how horrible it must have been to slowly starve to death or die of thirst. All because he couldn’t get the mystery vessel off his head. I had no idea why a manmade container would render everything inside of it invisible but I was determined to help him escape his isolated torment. The phantom hound was gripped with fear and apprehension at the sudden prospect of change. As much as he wanted to be free from his ‘iron mask’, he seemed equally terrified of going through the painful steps to remove it. He started to back away from me but I had a firm grip on the invisible pot. He began to whine and squeal as the resistance put pain and pressure on his trapped skull. I felt it trying to give way but his head was really stuck in there.
At last it popped free! He barked excitedly and shook his head in a vigorous, ‘clearing’ manner. I assumed it was from the prospect of finally being free from confinement. For the first time in who knows how many years, I was able to see the full image of the mysterious phantom hound of Forge mountain. His majestic head and regal ears were at full attention. There was a warmth in his eyes which spoke volumes of his appreciation for being set free. He came over and licked my face lovingly. Then, after circling a spot a few times, he curled up beside me and the dancing fire. I petted him for a few moments and then, he simply faded away like a distant memory. I assume he’s finally at peace now.
“That is an amazing story, Mister! You did a very good deed by helping the poor soul finally find peace. Say, that isn’t the pot is it? The one that he had stuck on his head?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, it is. As soon as I separated it from the hound’s obscured head, it became visible again. For whatever reason, I decided to drag it all the way back home the next morning but there’s nothing special or enchanted about it. Since I cleaned out my garage for this yard sale and need the space, I’m asking a hundred dollars for it.”