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The Dungarvon Whooper

Deep within the forest span 
Where trees block out the sun, 
Where loggers chop the days away 
And work is never done; 
Where monster moose patrol the pines, 
And hawks soar through the sky, 
You'll never hear a worse sound than 
Dungarvon Whooper's cry. 

The winter snow lay deep and cold. 
It made the rabbits shiver. 
Long icicles hung from the trees 
Along Dungarvon River. 
A jolly camp cook fed the men 
The best fare in the county. 
He never let them go without 
The best of nature's bounty. 

He kept his fortune in a belt 
He strapped around his middle. 
He never ever took it off, 
Not even when he piddled. 
An Irish boss devised a plan, 
A lumberjack named Ryan, 
Who lured the cook into the woods 
For deer meat he'd be fryin'. 

The logging crew was working hard, 
Their saws and axes ringing. 
Dungarvon River swept along 
And muffled all their singing. 
They didn't hear the one lone shot 
That came from Ryan's rifle. 
They didn't see the young cook fall, 
His life not worth a trifle. 

For that split second, time stood still. 
Blue spruce and tamarack 
Ceased needled whispers up above 
The greedy maniac. 
Old Ryan took the money belt, 
And scraped away the snow. 
He hacked through forest's frozen earth 
To shallow grave below. 

Supposed to be a hunting trip, 
The thief returned alone. 
He told the men a tale so tall. 
A bear had crunched cook's bones. 
At once search parties were sent out 
But ne'er a trace was found, 
For it was snowing heavily 
And covered tracks and mound. 

At sundown, they all heard the screams 
Around the logging camp. 
They knew it was the missing cook 
Who blew out every lamp. 
They felt his breath upon their necks 
As every candle flickered. 
The only peace that they could find 
Was in their pints of liquor. 

The terrifying screeches seared 
Each night at suppertime. 
When Ryan disappeared one day, 
The loggers sensed a crime. 
They worked in fear till early spring, 
Their heads in fitful stupor. 
With bloodshot eyes and trembling hands 
They left Dungarvon's Whooper.

Copyright © Kim McAdam