“MAY I CARRY YOUR BASKET?”

Sam Lewis spent the evening playing chess at his friend’s house. It was about midnight when they finished their game, and he started home. Outside it was icy cold and as quiet as the grave.

As he came around a turn in the road, he was surprised to see a woman walking ahead of him. She was carrying a basket covered with a white cloth. When he caught up to her, he looked to see who it was. But she was so bundled up against the cold, it was hard to see her face.

“Good evening,” Sam said. “What brings you out so late?”

But she didn’t answer.

Then he said, “May I carry your basket?”

She handed it to him. From under the cloth, a small voice said, “That’s very nice of you,” and that was followed by wild laughter.

Sam was so startled that he dropped the basket —and out rolled a woman’s head. He looked at the head, and he stared at the woman. “It’s her head!” he cried. And he started to run, and the woman and her head began to chase him.

Soon the head caught up to him. It bounded into the air and sunk its teeth into his left leg. Sam screamed with pain and ran faster.

But the woman and her head stayed right behind. Soon the head leaped into the air again and bit into his other leg. Then they were gone.

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