The Sock Puppet is a spooky Christmas story about a wealthy man, a sickly daughter, a cold Winter, some angry villagers and a mysterious Christmas present.
Many years ago, in Ireland, there was a wealthy man who lived in a small village. He owned every single plot of land surrounding the village and rented them out to poor farmers at a tidy profit. The man lived in the biggest house in the village with his lovely wife, his two strong sons and his small, sickly daughter.
He was kind to all of his children and treated his wife like a queen. However, in business he was ruthless and cunning. He made a lot of money by charging the villagers high rents and treated all of his tenants as if they were slaves. If any one of them was behind with their rent, he would throw them out of their houses without a moment’s notice.
The villagers hated the rich man and despised his cruel and miserly ways. He often threw lavish parties, inviting only his friends and family and living like a king while the poor villagers had to scrimp and save just to keep their bellies full. All they could afford was a meager diet of bread and potatoes.
One year, there was a potato blight and all of the crops were affected. As winter set in, the villagers were starving to death. The rich man paid no attention to the troubles of his tenants and responded by raising the rents. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, he threw a Christmas party for his friends and family, where they enjoyed an enormous feast, and drank sarcastic toasts to the plight of the starving tenants.
That night, one villager arrived at the door bearing a gift. He said it was a Christmas present for the rich man’s daughter. The girl opened the present and found a sock puppet inside. The villager said he had knitted himself and asked if he might have some food. In return, the rich man handed the villager one single, solitary potato and sent him on his way.
Although it was a hideous old rag, the daughter seemed to love the sock puppet. She named it Charlie and put it on her hand, showing it to everyone at the party.
That night, after the party was over, the father was going to bed. He paused at his daughter’s bedroom door and looked in on her. She was fast asleep. Just as he was about to leave, something disturbed him. The sock puppet was still on her hand and its plastic eyes seemed to be staring straight at him. He ignored it and walked out, thinking he was just imagining things.
That night, as the rich landlord and his wife slept in their chamber, they heard a knock at the door. It was their daughter.
“Mama, Papa, Charlie says he needs to speak with you,” she said.
They saw their daughter walk in, blood dripping from one hand and the sock puppet on the other, staring at them both.
“Charlie already spoke with Jacob and Michael,” said the daughter, moving the sock puppet’s mouth as if it was speaking. “Now he must speak with you.”
For weeks, the rich man’s house lay eerily silent. The villagers saw no candles in the windows and no smoke from the chimney. Eventually, they decided to check on the family and what they discovered shocked them to their very core.
In the living room, sat the two brothers. Both strong young men, had had their heads twisted off and placed on their hands as if the heads were puppets. The same had happened to the parents, who were found dead and decaying in their beds.
The most disturbing sight of all was the little girl. She was sitting in the corner of the bedroom, her severed head balanced upon one hand, smiling sweetly with her eyes wide open. On the other hand was the sock puppet. Due to the rigor mortis, her arms were sticking out and it seemed as if the two hands were speaking to each other.
Just recently, a family moved into the house. They moved to the country because the family doctor said it might help their sick daughter recover from her illness. Everything was fine until one night, when the mother heard the daughter calling out to her.
Before the mother opened the door, she heard her daughter talking. She peeked in and the girl was fast asleep.
“What did she need, honey?” asked the father, when his wife returned.
The mother paused before speaking.
“I have no idea,” she said. “The poor little thing must have been talking in her sleep. Do you know where she got that awful sock puppet? She was wearing it on her hand and it almost seemed like it was staring straight at me.”