Shadow Holler

Shadow Holler

A Story by Judy Ponceby

I was 'bout a haf mile down Shadow Holler, lookin' for my dog Jack.  I rounded the bend long the river and thar he sat just lookin' up at the moon that was back dropped behind him.  I was so entranced I stood stockstill in the chill evening air.  He raised his head and let out with that beautiful soulful baying only a huntin' dog can make.  Then he took off tearing through the woods like his tail was on fire.

Well, I commenced chasin' ol' Jack down, but I swear evra tree in that holler was out to get me.
My clothes, they was ripped up and my feet were on fire from being torn by briars and such.
I finally, upped and caught up to Jack.  He was pacing the bottom of a Sycamore that was glowing white in the moonlight.  I heard some cacklin' up in that tree and I looked up to see a sight that I nev'r saw afore.  They was a coon up in there just grinnin' down at Jack like he was playing with him.  Now Jack was in a right tizzy over that coon.  He leaped up the side of the tree as high as he could, barking treed as though his life depended on it.  That coon was doing a bit of glowing in the moonlight itself.  I'd never seen a Cinnamon colored coon before, but thar 'e was, bigger 'an life.  And while it was grinnin' it was busy collecting some twigs.  Next thing ya know it was chattering to beat the band and throwin' sticks at ol' Jack.  Well, I can tell you, Jack didn't appreciate the humor in this sitcheation.  He backed up and made a leap so high I thought shore he was gonna take flight, but he got nothin' for his trouble but a whack in the head as he collided with a big ol' twig thrown by that coon.  

Thinkin' that Jack had had about enuf I tried coaxing him home, but he was havin' nothing to do with it.  So, I told Jack I was heading home and he could come if he had a mind to, but I wasn't staying out in the woods all night while he made an a*s of himself over a coon that was makin' fun of him.  I started off and then heard a loud yelp.  All of a sudden Jack came blastin' past me, and not far behind was that old Cinnamon coon giving it all he was worth.  Well, as he was headin' towards home I followed along.  Just at the mouth of Shadow Holler, and not to fer from home I found ol' Jack.  He was up a low slung tree whimperin' like a puppy.  That coon was pacing the trunk, back humped up, teeth bared and laughin' out the side of its mouth.  As I walked up on this pathetic scene, ol' Jack took one look at me and started crying fer help.  Well, I took pity on the poor fella and walked up on that coon with a right big stick.  And right afore my eyes it just faded into nothin'.  Scared the bejeebers outta me!

Took me an hour to coax ol' Jack outta that tree.  And then I couldn't keep up with him once he headed towards our cabin.  At home I told Pa all about our lil adventure, and he bout whooped me fer even goin' into Shadow Holler.  He said, "Son, I tole you to stay outta that holla.  They's ghosts and spooks down in thar.  Old Lady Jalson disappeared never to be seen again until the Smith boys saw her wanderin' a trail down there.  On'y problem is they cud see through 'er.  They's all sorts of stories 'bout shadows roaming free and playin' tricks an' worse on folks."  

Well I never seen my Pa so scairt as when he was tellin' me that, so now I just keep away from that holler.  And, ya know what?  I ain't never seen ol' Jack even turn in that direction since that night.  Musta learned himself somethin'.

© 2011 Judy Ponceby

Author's Note

Judy Ponceby
This is what comes of visiting my family in very Southern Ohio... :) And I did actually see a taxidermied cinnamon raccoon at a person's house once. It was kinda eerie. Did pass a sign to Shadow Holler while I was down there too. :)

My Review

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This is so cool :D the accent is so pervasive--it's wonderful. It made the story probably three times as good. Nicely done!!!!!! :) I haven't read anything like this in a long long time :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

Poor Jack---treed by a coon. A ghost-coon to boot. We'd better not tell anyone, or that poor dogie won't never get no respect. Reminds me of when Daniel Boone spent all one moon-lit night shootin' at coons, only to discover, next mornin' at sunrise, that they was really just lice in his own eyebrows. A good one, Judy.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Sounds like hills from the dialect...we have our own dialect here in the Appalachians...part Scot-Irish...part King's English...all mountain. Good scary story here. I enjoyed!

Posted 8 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on November 12, 2011
Last Updated on November 12, 2011


Judy Ponceby
Judy Ponceby

Swanton, OH

I am me. Living life. Learning love. And laughing. A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. – Robert Frost more..


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