Old Texas...

... there is an area in the hinterlands of Englewood known as "old Texas"... a sprawling, tangled parcel of scrub covering a couple thousand acres... not useful for much of anything due to a combination of rough-as-hell topography and some truly devilish geologic phenomena.. the place is riddled with sinkholes and caverns.. fouled brimstone springs... quicksand... and yes, it was in such a place that I played as a youngster...

... tall tales were told once by my Father and Uncles of how a train carrying the Barnum & Bailey Circus' animals north through the county derailed... back in the 1930s, I believe... releasing various exotic beasts into the jungle-like forest... (one side of old Texas was once bordered by the Louisville & Nashville railroad)...

... anyway, as the ancient lie goes, over the next few weeks all of the large critters were captured... elephants, zebras, ostriches, and the like... but the sneaky and/or elusive managed to evade the local redneck denizens of 1930s McMinn County... the stage was set for hijinks...

... ever since I can remember, I've heard stories of giant snakes living for generations in the warm, spring-fed sinkholes back there... and giant cats prowling the undergrowth... stealthy, unseen panthers snatching the occasional calf as late as the 1960s... remnants of Barnum's jaguars or Bailey's lions, I suspect...

... so of course I bought the story hook, line, and sinker... after all, as a kid, you WANT to believe that there are tigers in the forest... right?.. especially when you're coon hunting late at night with a .22 rifle... now, I've never actually seen a giant snake or a panther in old Texas... but the old hearsays sure did spark the imagination on those childhood campouts...

... you know, I'm tempted to write to those circus boys and ask if they lost a train back in the day... part of me really wants to know if it was true... but another part wants to keep the mystery as it is... in the end, there is magic in imaginative fibbery.... kinda like blogginig...

by Eric on September 05, 2005 | Bullshit (3) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
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old texas..fantastic..i see the similarity..great story

Bullshitted by shoe on September 5, 2005 03:02 PM

I can check the records if you're really curious. We got the L&N stuff.

Bullshitted by Velociman on September 5, 2005 03:21 PM

Yeah, you gotta stay a kid somewhere in your heart. Crap, it's not allowed to believe in Santa Claus anymore...although there is a part of me that still does...even against all evidence to the contrary...

Bullshitted by Kelly on September 6, 2005 03:00 PM