Ghost stories

Gather close around the campfire as the sun sinks low, and read my anagram's tale of woe. The left-hand side is the lyrics to the song 'Ghost Riders in the Sky', and the right-hand side serves as another cuationary-ghost-story-of-the-Plains kind of thing. If you don't have a little familiarity with the subject matter of the right-hand side, you might wish to look at the pretty good summary at before or after reading the 'gram.

An old cowpoke went ridin' out one dark and windy day.
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way,
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A-ploughin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw.
Yippee-ai-ay, yippee-ai-oh, the ghost herd in the sky.

Their brands were still on fire, and their hooves were made of steel.
Their horns were black and shiny, and their hot breath he could feel.
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky.
He saw the riders coming hard... and he heard their mournful cry:
Yippee-ai-ay, yippee-ai-oh, ghost riders in the sky.

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat,
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd but they 'aint caught 'em yet,
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire. As they ride on, hear them cry:
Yippee-ai-ay, yippee-ai-oh, ghost riders in the sky.

As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name.
'If you want to save your soul from hell, a-riding on our range,
Then, cowboy, change your ways today or with us you will ride,
Trying to catch the devil's herd, across these endless skies.'
Yippee-ai-ay, yippee-ai-oh, ghost riders in the sky.


Heir to Hunger

"Stay inside on days like these:
Years of famine, icy snow.
Son, the Wendigo, he'll eat you.
He eats the human heart, you know..."

"...Yet his gut stays forever empty,
His own heart wracked with pain,
Sunken cheeks as he feasts in this wintry frost
On our slowly starving plain."

Father wrapped the blankets tighter,
Yet - the meat still running low -
Our stomachs clenched 'round nothing there.
I knew I had to go.

"Oh, the Wendigo's a _story_,
I could eat _him_, you know."
I prepared. I went, heard the rushing wind,
Perhaps the cry of buffalo...?


This wanderer has a dying heartbeat.
A long day, eyes chilled shut, I cry.
I sigh "Oh, I need aid". I pray.
So bitter cold here, eat or die.

A huge, hairy, tasty something!
Ah, I gather hope, so rare:
The hunter's prayers are heard! I prey.
I chew a rich and hearty share.


"Mother, I bear food aplenty!"
Her eerie stare held; she sighed.
"Hey, I can't let you enter here,
As the Wendigo's arrived."

"Oh, your dad, he rode days to help you.
You had the fever; it's too late."
I surely knew what I had killed then.
His blood dripped down my icy face.

Grey cheeks sunk by dry eyes. High, high appetite!
A predator and prey. Pure horror, icy cold.
I stood hungry, ready, a-shiver.
I had become the Wendigo.

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