Jasper’s Call

As the mist filled the valleys below the endless ridges of Western North Carolina’s majestic Smoky Mountains, John Marsh and his nephew, who was called Little Crow by the white boys, got in the old red pickup truck to find the fox hounds they had hunted with the night before.

They rolled the windows down and shouted out the name of their prize dog, Jasper.
Soon, they would hear his distinctive voice carrying over the ridges.

U s di  Go ga, John said turning to his nephew, “I think I hear him down that path.”

Little Crow, ( U s di Go Ga in Cherokee) ran up to Jasper. My uncle, he cried, Jasper has found a human skull!”


37 Responses so far »

  1. 4

    Well told! The ending took me completely by surprise – you did such a good job of setting up the peaceful ordinariness of the day, and then came the switch!

  2. 6

    Cheers to us early birds. Interesting tale. I wonder who the skull belonged to.

  3. 7

    My first idea when I read it, was to continue the story. I’ll do so in my mind. Bloodsoaking, terrifying and mystic…this day will become a good day! Thank you

  4. 10

    Nicely written. Mine would be out later

  5. 11

    Sandra Bennett said,

    Hmmm…reminds me of my Cherokee roots…

  6. 13

    billgncs said,

    not so happy an ending, but this could be the beginning of a who-done-it.

  7. 15

    Nicole said,

    I really enjoyed reading this. Great passage.

  8. 16

    Sandra said,

    I hope he’s not bringing that into the house! Nicely done.

  9. 17

    Linda said,

    I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending, now I want to know what happened next … are you going to continue it? Really well written and very enjoyable.

    Here’s mine too: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/08/24/friday-fictioneers-misty/

  10. 22

    Dear Beebee,

    This was one of my favorite pieces so far. I, too, though of the Piedmont of North Carolina when I saw Maggie’s beautiful picture. You really did it justice.

    I was pulled into Jasper’s world and haunted by the use of the words of the former occupants of that land, the Cherokee. Very, very good use of two languages.

    (In the second paragraph, should not the word ‘would’ be ‘could’?)



    • 23

      beebeesworld said,

      I will check out the would/could-I appreciate constructive criticism-its how we learn. When you mentioned the Piedmont area, I admit, that I had to stretch my imagination to call this a photo of the Smoky Mountains. The mountains here are much more dramatic than those in the prompt (or in the peidmont, for that matter)-but the islands of mountain tops emerging from the clouds are one of my first childhood memories. My dad loved to go on rides…beebeesworld

    • 24

      beebeesworld said,

      Doug, I really think that “could” is what I meant. It was an anticipation of an even they knew would happen. I spend my childhood going with my uncle to call in his fox hounds from the hunt of the previous night. We were anticipating hearing that distinctive voice of “our” dogs. We knew them, recognized them. have you ever read the book entitled, “The Voice of Bugle Anne”? Its a childhood favorite-it might explain the relationship of a hunter and his beloved dogs a bit better than I can. Thanks for reading and commenting. beebee

      • 25

        “Soon, they would heard” – I think you’re right, could is what you meant, as the ‘soon’ indicates that they are anticipating him. Maybe it’s the past tense ‘heard’ that catches a little? Perhaps: “soon, they would hear” or “soon, they would have heard’?

        Any way, I enjoyed this story – strong images that put me right there, and an unexpected direction. Thanks!

      • 26

        I’m very sorry…but I’m a bit confused about this “would or could”-thing. I am from germany and I would like to learn much more about your grammatic. So could it be that they are dogs and they would always hear…if they could. And why shouldn’t they hear the call? Maybe this is absolutely silly…excuse me, but tell me what I don’t understand. I will be glad to hear from you Brenda, Rachel, Doug or someone else.


      • 27

        beebeesworld said,

        Frank-I sent you my email-I love the would/could controversy. It turns out I put in the word “heard” instead of “hear”. That was my error! What I mean was that soon they KNEW that they would hear the dogs voice, because that is how they always tracked down the dogs. I went on the trips to find the fox hounds many times as a child. I was not allowed to go on the actual “hunts”, because I was a girl. They didn’t kill the fox, it was the thrill of hearing the “voices” of the dogs as they tracked down the foxes. In fact, my uncle trapped the foxes, vaccinated them for rabies, fed them meat at certain locations and such to keep them around. That’s the southern USA for you! beebee

      • 28

        beebeesworld said,

        I forgot to push the “send me replies” button, you you will have to reply thru the comments on the article Jaspers Call-sorry beebee

      • 29

        beebeesworld said,

        what does der silbenschmiede mean?


      • 30

        A “Silbe” is a syllable. And “Schmiede (Die Schmiede)” is the smithery or blacksmith. So it could be translated as syllablesmithery (?) and I am the smith of syllables. Forging Words, forging verses.

      • 31

        beebeesworld said,

        I like the wordsmithing you did to come up with that name-I guess mountain girl is much the same for me-even If I used an old pic as my gravitar….beebee is my “grandma name”

  11. 32

    JKBradley said,

    And now the story of the mysterious skull is ready to be exhumed. Please continue.

  12. 34

    vbholmes said,

    Wonderful description of early morning in the Smokey Mountains (even if it did end up a little on the gruesome side).

  13. 36

    shakira said,

    I just love stories like yours. So intriguing and suspenseful. You truly put a lot of work in describing the characters involved and the ending..B. R. A. V. O! Best I have read so far!Mine is here
    Blessed be.

  14. 37

    shakira said,

    Thank you so much for following me. I am now following you! hugs shakira

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