Cub Scouts listen to ghost stories, tall tales around campfire on camp out.
|The Cub Scout den was on a camping trip
deep in north Louisiana’s piney woods.
At day’s end, the air carried a cool nip,
calling for warmth from a roaring campfire.
Dinner consumed, songs sung, it was now time
for telling of ghost stories before sleep.
Stories of ghosts doing some scary crime
followed one after another until …
one den leader grew serious; he spoke
with voice low so all grew silent and hung
on his every word. He paused to stoke
the fire, provoking the embers to flames.
“Some years ago I went on a camp out
like this in bayou country way down south.
There were big snakes and gators all about.
A patch of high ground seemed safe for our camp.
“The Scouts went looking for wood for a fire.
One boy called out that he’d found a small cave.
All gathered there, made a mistake quite dire.
Bear remains were discovered and taken.
“The next morning we realized these bones
came from no bear. An old Cajun boated by,
saw the bones, rolled his eyes, emitted groans.
"Y’all done done it now. You best git from here."
"Why?" we asked. ‘’Cause you done let loose trouble!
Those be Warturp bones. They’ll be hell to pay."
"What’s a Warturp?" "They big; they mean – double
mean if’n someone disturbs their burials.
“They tall, got shaggy hair all over, claws
four inches long and teeth to rip apart
any man. A Warturp wouldn’t even pause
in gobbling down one of those tender Scouts."
“We all had a good laugh, decided to stay.
That night we heard limbs breaking and growling
in the brush around camp. The light of day
revealed huge paw prints, long hairs caught on thorns.
“We fled from there. Good thing. The next Scout den
that camped near there had two boys disappear
during the night and never be seen again.
The one clue -- a long slit in their tents’ sides.
“When Scouts are taken, it's reported as bear
attacks, and it’s happening more often.
I hate to alarm you, but over there
in those woods I saw Warturp’s tracks today.
“I’m sleeping in my car tonight, not a tent.
Two-boy pup tents are where all of you’ll sleep.
The one way you can possibly prevent
Warturp attack is to show them the whites
“of your eyes. If you keep eyes open, stare
at the woods, you will stay safe all night long.”
“This isn’t true, is it?” one boy asked.” “I swear
it’s true, boys. Go on to sleep if you dare!”
The leader went to his car, made a show
of locking himself in. The boys retired
to their pup tents to sleep. Don’t you just know
‘twas past two AM ‘fore the last eyes closed.
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