Swamp Stories

Folks ‘round here tend to be a superstitious lot. Strange happenin’s 'round these parts don’t help matters much.

The swamps are dangerous, even to those familiar with the local landscape. Lotsa the older folk who’ve lived 'round here for their whole lives will swear the swamps are haunted.

Me? I don’t believe it. Tales of hauntins’ and such are nonsense. I chalk it up to the older folks bein’ from a simpler time, more prone to believin’ in magic an’ stuff.

There’s a powerful long history of folks believin’ in things that ain’t real. The Algonquians and other tribes had their stories of the Wendigo, a tall, gaunt creature who ate people. Insatiable, growin’ taller and gettin’ hungrier with each meal.

I’ve heard tales that Jack Fiddler (called “Mesnawetheno” in Swampy Cree, meanin’ “Stylish man”) once killed a wendigo, but I don’t believe it. He killed someone, to be sure, but there ain’t no such thing as wendigos.

Fables of the Roux-Ga-Roux are told from time to time. Simpletons insist it’s real, but can’t even agree on what it is. Some say it’s a blood-sucker, others say it’s a werewolf. I say it’s rubbish. Mostly just the product of overactive imaginin’s and similar foolishness.

I’ve even heard tell of a giant spider that rises from the depths and drags victims to the bottom. I say it’s just a rottin’ tree stump. The roots resemble spidery legs. The gasses from the rot float it up to the surface, then it sinks again. Sure, you could get drowned in the bog if you somehow got stuck on it, but that don’t mean it’s a monster.

Still, the swamps don’t need any ridiculous stories of supernatural hauntin’s to be dangerous. Lotsa venomous snakes and spiders out there. Poisonous gasses from rot. Gators can ruin your day pretty quick-like. There ain’t no need to be makin’ stuff up when there’s enough real things to be scared of.

There’s simple enough explanations without belivin’ in magic and monsters.


See that? Just a tree. Yeah, it’s a funny-lookin’ tree, but that’s all it is. No need for stories 'bout tree-monsters or somesuch.

One good rule I like to follow is “if there’s water, there’s gators”. Every year durin’ gator matin’ season, people are all up on the TV news channels cryin’ 'bout their dog that got ate 'cause they were stupid and let it go play in the swamp. People whinin’ an’ cryin’, sayin’ there shoulda been signs warnin’ 'em 'bout gators. I say there ain’t no need for signs. It’s a swamp. If there’s water, there’s gators. Simple as that. City folk should be smarter'n to go traipsin’ around in the swamp gettin’ their pets ate.


See that? It’s water. You wanna go snorkel in it, be my guest. I ain’t gonna pretend no sympathy when you learn about your place in the food chain. Even if the gators or snakes don’t get ya, you’ll likely lose some blood to the leeches.

Me? I don’t go in the water. I’m smarter'n that. Not that I’m scared of monsters or anythin’. Yer welcome to venture into the swamps as far as ya want, but I don’t rightly recommend it. 'Specially if you don’t know the area. All sortsa hazards abound, and folks do go missin’ from time to time.

Prob'ly just gators though. Yeah, just gators. That’s what I tell myself. Helps me sleep.


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