They say if your bed faces a mirror, a part of your soul slips away from you and floats into the mirror when you are asleep at night. When I brought this up with the landlady, all she had to say was Balderdash!
She pointed out that they also say that were a black cat to cross your path, you were in for a lifetime of bad luck. And Tabby, her black cat, has been a lifetime companion to her and so far as she could tell, she had done pretty well for herself in life, she said with a sweeping motion of her arms to indicate the sprawling farm and the three-storeyed house with thirteen rooms that she owned.
She insisted all these were simply old wives' tales and also politely said she had no other rooms to let and nowhere else to put the mirror.
So I told myself that all the things they say are not necessarily true and paid the landlady a week's rent in advance.
The following morning, a piece of blue sky appeared in the mirror, although the skies outside were a heavy grey and raindrops haltingly trickled down the window behind the mirror.
The second morning, white clouds swam across my personal blue sky in the mirror.
On the third, a fiery little sun made its appearance in the glass and winked at me as I came out of the shower. I threw my towel over the mirror to keep out prying eyes.
By the end of the week, in the mirror had appeared tiny stars, a little angel, one grey cloud, and several colourful curlicues not unlike the twisted tangles of my hair.
I showed my landlady the mirror and told her these were all bits and pieces of my soul locked away in the looking glass. At first she said she will never again dismiss everything they say. She offered to let me take the mirror with me, in a gesture of redress, an offer I promptly took her upon as I didn't want to part with any piece of my soul.
She reckoned I must have a good soul, going by all the lovely little forms and shapes that have cropped up. But, she added thoughtfully, that the true test of my goodness perhaps lay in what the characters in the mirror get up to when no one is looking.