It Might Be You For M Lady Tara
A silver snake the river ran
deep and slow beneath the moon
It knew as only rivers can
the time was coming very soon.
When some lone traveller must pay
the dues it was entitled to.
Some reveller who’s on his way
after he’s had a drink or two.
The river chooses carefully
the one who’ll be the sacrifice.
The victim will die quietly
his ordeal over in a trice.
Each year the river takes its toll
a man or woman who’s full grown.
Releases their immortal soul
from all the sorrows they have known.
The locals know that this is true
and treat the legend with respect.
They know that when the fee falls due
the quiet river will select.
Somebody who will foot the bill.
Somebody who does not expect
this quiet water way to kill.
Though with their death they will protect
other travellers who cross.
The river is quite satisfied
with one who did not get across.
This sacrifice has mollified
the ancient hoary river horse
The Kelpie who controls the flow
of this deep river in its course.
But modern men don’t want to know.
Attribute deaths to accident
investigate to find a cause
for every single incident.
They disregard the River Horse.
Mere superstition so they say
and disbelieve the old wives tales.
But still the Kelpie has his way
one death per year he never fails.
Nobody see, nobody hears
there are no witnesses at all.
When the River horse appears
as he collects his yearly toll.
It has been so since days of yore
the records show with clarity.
One death per year and never more.
The river does not change its fee.
So should you choose to holiday
in Scotland you had best beware
The river valley of the Tay.
Unless of course you do not care
to listen to the tale I tell
and just dismiss it out of hand.
I speak of that which I know well
but I advise I can’t command.
You have the choice do as you will
take heed or not just as you choose.
You don’t believe that rivers kill
so bet your life its your to lose.
I am local bred and born
and I have seen my threescore years.
You may regard my tale with scorn
until the river horse appears.
You will believe than far too late
that Kelpies can and do exist
That’s why the legends still persist.
24 Aug 06