Wild Mountain Rose…

Wild Mountain Rose

There is a legend upon Mossy Ridge children hear while listening as the old folks weaves their tales around their supper table at night…

About two gentle spirits walking the rutty mountain roads under the mystical Tennessee moonlight.

These stories begin many years ago about an old Cherokee and a little girl he called his Wild Mountain Rose…

Folks first saw her drinking from a cool mountain stream all legs and dirty yellow hair, abandoned by her family, so the story goes, but no one is sure of that, if truthfully told.

The first time the old Cherokee saw her she was sleeping under a bush folk’s call the Wild Mountain Rose…

Afterward she was with him no matter where he would go.

Folks would say that without old Willie Youngblood she would not have survived…

Willie knew that without her, he himself would have died.  The years went by quickly and they both grew old, time had touched their hair with gray…

They could only dream about their younger days.

One cool spring morning, Willie woke to find her gone from his side; he sat for hours head hung low as he cried…

Later, he found her lying peacefully; she had died under a familiar bush on a soft bed of leaves, a mournful death chant was the only way the old Cherokee knew how to grieve.

Now if you know where to look, it is in the Tennessee Mountains where Willie Youngblood’s Wild Mountain Rose can be found…

Beneath the damp rotting forest floor in a shallow grave, up on Mossy Ridge near the entrance of Chicopee Cave.

The following winter Old Willie died, and they buried him next to his Wild Mountain Rose…

Folks say in the moonlight two ghostly spirits can be seen sitting on the banks of Chestnut Creek, or floating along the rutty mountain roads.

When the sun comes up, they disappear…

or so the legend goes, but everyone on Mossy Ridge knows that it is Old Willie and that golden haired pup he found many years ago that he called his…

Wild Mountain Rose.

©2013.annjohnsonmurphree

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8 thoughts on “Wild Mountain Rose…

  1. this so reminds me of the family stories, the oral history my partner’s elders tell after every meal. a really well written tribute to history keeping a memory alive, that so easily becomes forgotten these days. .

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  2. This is so beautiful, the language lyrical, teasing rhymes keep the tone light. Wonderful! A celebration of a kind of life that is slipping away. We should do a chant for that life, too.

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