are as comfortable to wrap ourselves in as a down quilt. That's why we make them
up with such dedication and perseverence. |
Take the famous Sasquatch of
the Pacific Northwest for instance. Last month, two hunters all the way in Georgia
swore up and down they had found the body of Old Sas, also known as Big Foot.
But it was just a furry costume and nothing but a big fat fraud. We could've told
you that. We knew it was a hoax because the real thing is in Round
Rock, Texas. Always was, always will be.
Mind you, I'm not talking
about the Chupacabra from Puerto
Rico who's been spotted in Cuero,
South Texas, and who sometimes wanders off to Mexico.
Nosireebob. He's just a fifth cousin thrice removed and anyway, he's as hairless
as a billiard ball. Round Rock's Hairy Man's the real thing and he's been there
back since pioneers built cabins and helped conquer the West.
to tell your kids how the Hairy Man of Round
Rock came to be? Well, one day far ago when his pioneer family was headed
West, a young boy fell off their covered wagon. His parents didn't notice that
he was missing until many miles later. Of course, there's a variation of this
which says the boy was separated from them by flood waters. Either way, the result
is the same and they were unable to connect with each other ever again.
resourceful boy learned to survive on his own, or maybe was adopted by a local
family of animals. In any event, he slept and ate and hunted in the woods until
he grew tall. Very tall. Even taller than that.
And it seems that since
he had long ago outgrown the child's clothing he was wearing when he got lost,
nature gave him a new outfit: hair. From top to toe, his body grew a whole lot
of the stuff to protect him from the elements. Mother Nature and Texas know how
to take care of a fella.
No longer used to humans and not even remembering
that he was once human himself, the Hairy Man couldn't recall how to handle the
occasional strangers who might accidentally stumble upon him, no matter how hard
his efforts at concealment. He had to protect himself, so he did all he could
think of -- he frightened them away. Scaredy cats every one. Must've been tourists
and not Texans because they ran like heck to get away.
They didn't have
movies back then, or television or even a radio, so the Hairy Man would amuse
himself by sitting in the trees, dangling his legs, and dragging his feet along
the tops of passing stagecoaches. Nobody inside the stages ever figured out where
the creepy sound over their heads was coming from. The Hairy Man laughed and laughed
because he was having so much fun frightening everybody.
Alas, one day,
his aim was off and he fell out of the tree smack into the path of a stagecoach
careening toward him at top speed. The startled quartet of horses got frightened
and accidentally trampled him to death.
this day, the Hairy Man's ghost roams along the same shady road upon which he
had died such a grisly death, doomed forever to seek return of the life that was
so violently ripped from him.
Kindly Texans have since tried to make it
up to him by celebrating an annual Hairy Man Festival each October, Halloween
month. There are food, fun, and festivities galore, including a Hairy Man Contest.
The winner is the hairiest contestant.
This year, it's at Cat Hollow Park
in Round Rock, on October
4th, Noon to 7 pm, with the $2. admission proceeds donated to children's charities.
The Festival's generosity should at least temporarily quiet down the ghost
of a young boy who got lost, and turned into the Hairy Man.
Maggie Van Ostrand,
October 1, 2008 column
"A Balloon In Cactus" Columns
Topic: Texas Haunted Places & Ghost
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