Terror in the woods

Coorg trip

‘Twas a day I’ll never forget-
It happened when I was ten.
The day, the night, the helpless plight-
Never should return again!

My dad, my mom, and me with them
Had gone to our village for the feast!
A whole big week of fun and joy,
About school I’d bothered the least!

My mom and I had been to the market
On the last day of our trip!
We wanted to reach home well before dark,
For our home was on the jungle’s tip!

The sun had set and the ground was wet
Because of the evening shower.
We had to cross a bit of the woods
To return to our cosy bower!

The way was dark and the road unclear,
The night had launched its fall.
I gripped my mother’s hand in fear-
A torch we carried, was all.

As we tread upon the mystic path,
I heard the sounds of the jungle!
The hiss of the night, with the hoot of the owl,
A shiver in my blood did tingle!

On we moved with timid control,
When I heard that rustle of leaves!
A flash of shock, a wave of fear-
I told it to mom between heaves!

My mom told me she heard no sound
She tried hard to assure me out.
My imagination- could it have been,
But I still had a lingering doubt!

I tightened my grip round my mom’s hand
Never to leave it after then.
I thought I’d heard the rustle of my feet,
But not after I heard it again!!

And this time the sound was distinct
Like someone hiking in the dark!
The rustle was clear and rhythmic
In the silence of the jungle, it was stark!

Terrified as hell, I looked at my mom
She walked like she’d heard nothing.
I cried out in fright, in the dark of the night,
Convinced that sure there was something!!

Someone or something was right around us
I didn’t know why mom could not hear!
Should be your fancy- she told me
And assured me home was quite near!

I prayed out aloud, recited a hymn
And wished that the sounds fade away,
There’s nothing to worry- this was my mom,
All round us, the torch- she did sway.

A few minutes later, I sighed in relief
For we reached the end of the woodland.
The light of the village, the bark of our dog-
Gave me strength to run out of the rand!

In shock and in joy, I was gasping for breath
When I told what had happened to dad.
Still it was unclear why mom could not hear
More to my confusion did it add!

The sound had been real, the rustle so discrete-
Why had my mom been so deaf?
Why could she not hear what was so clear?
What had so kept her in kef?

My mom and my dad were talking that night
They thought I was fast into sleep.
But needless to say, I was always awake,
My ears were on, listening so deep!

In a jiffy, I just jolted in shock,
To my dad, when my mom, this said:
“I saw there a man walking behind us;
On his body, there was no head!!!”

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