THE HURLEY WOODS DRAGON
The Hurley Woods Dragon -Chapter One
Robert Hewett Sr.
(A Halloween story)
Deputy Sheriff Ray Moore pulled into the driveway of the Jim Turner farm. He saw Jim working on a fence near the barn. “Hey Jim, how you doing?” “Just fine Ray, what are you doing out here?” “The Sheriff asked me to check out some rumors about a dragon down around Coal Iron Creek,” said Ray laughing out loud. “I think it
is a story some of those ornery moonshiners cooked up to keep people away from their still.” “I wouldn’t be surprised”, said Jim. “Say Jim, I was wondering if you would ride along with me since you know this area better than I do.” “Sure, just let me tell my wife where I am going.”
They got into the deputy’s cruiser and headed off toward the creek. “There are reports of two boys, about 10 years old, missing over around Coal Iron Creek, Some people say they just ran away from their mean father, but their mother says this dragon got them.”
“What’s this dragon supposed to look like, Ray?” “Well, they say it has eyes as big as car headlights, and a hiss that is loud as thunder, and a tongue that is at least three feet long. Resembles a very big snake with two feet. Everyone just laughs it off as a practical joke, but the Sheriff says for me to check it out.” I thought we would drive along Coal Iron Creek and see if we can find any tracks or maybe this dragon.”
“There is an old logging road that runs along the creek, but it may be blocked by fallen trees in some places, I should have brought my chain saw.” said Jim. “We will just go as far as we can and turn around”, said Ray. “Ray, what are you going to do if this dragon is real and we find him?” “I have a high powered rifle in the trunk and I will shoot him,” said Ray. “Ray, I hope you have time to get to that rifle,” said Jim Laughing hard.
“Slow down Ray, that old logging road is just around this corner.” “I see it” said Ray and he turned into the woods along Coal Iron Creek. “Wow,” said Jim, “look at all those trees bent over or laying on the ground, something big has been here.” Sweat was popping out on Ray’s forehead as he nervously drove slowly along the old logging road. “Ray, I think you better get that rifle now”, said Jim. Ray stopped the car and went to the trunk. As he popped open the trunk there was a loud hiss from up ahead and he could hear trees breaking. He grabbed his rifle and jumped back into the car.
End of Chapter One
The Hurley Woods Dragon –Chapter 2
Sweat was pouring off Deputy Ray Moore and Jim was squinting his eyes rying to see what was moving in the trees. That roaring hiss came again and it was definitely getting closer. “Ray, maybe we ought to turn the car around so that we can get out of here.” “Okay Jim, just give me a moment to stop shaking. I have never been so afraid in my life.” I agree with you Ray, but we need to turn this car around.”
Ray put the car in reverse and began to back up into a clearing so that he could turn the car toward the main road. As he gave it gas that roaring his came again, much closer, starling Ray so much he gunned the engine wedging the car between two trees. Try as he might he could not fre the car. The roaring hiss came again and two small trees fell across the logging road just a few yards from the car. They saw a big black tail swish through the trees flattening the smaller ones.
“He’s coming Jim, what are we going to do?” “You are the Deputy, Ray, you are in charge here, but we might ought to consider abandoning the car and running for the highway.” “Good idea, Jim, let’s go”. “Wait, Ray, we better stay here, that thing is coming out of the woods any minute. We don’t want him to see us running away. Maybe he will not notice us in the car.”
“I hope you are right Jim, Lordy, but I am scared right out of my mind. I should have told the Sheriff to send someone else on this hunt.” “You’ll be okay Ray, just sit tight and don’t make any noise.” “You can count on that Jim, I am unable to move.” “Look Ray, there is that long tongue flicking the tops of small trees about 50 yards down the road. It seems to be looking for something.” “I hope it isn’t us he is looking for Jim, I got kids to look out for back in town.”
“Where did it go Jim? I don’t see it anymore.” “I don’t know Ray, maybe he went the other way. “Oh no, God help us,” cried Ray as that roaring hiss sounded right behind the car. There was a thrashing sound and the car was upside down on the logging road. “We’re gonna die Jim, right here on Coal Iron Creek.” “Give me the rifle Ray, I am going to try to get a shot at that monster. Look at him, just like those people said. His eyes are big as car headlights, his legs look like a prehistoric dragon and that big tail is knocking everything over it hits.”
Jim rolled down his window and leaned out with the rifle inhis hands. “What if it don’t kill him Jim, what if it just makes himmad?” “I don’t know Ray, but this is the only plan I can come upwith. There, I think I can get a shot off now.” Jim raised the rifleand took aim, but dropped the rifle and turned to Ray. “I justheard a child’s voice over there by the dragon Ray, I can’t shootuntil I know I won’t hit him. “Uh oh, here he comes Ray, I will have to try that shot.“ Jim raised the rifle and steadiedhis arm on the car door.
End of Chapter 2
The Hurley Woods Dragon –Chapter 3 of 3
Robert Hewett Sr.
Jim raised the rear sight on the rifle and took aim down the logging road. He was ready to shoot as soon as the monster showed his head. He saw the trees swaying on both sides of the road and knew the monster was in the logging road headed their way. He pressed down on the car door to stop his arm from shaking. Deputy Ray was saying nothing, just staring down the road in a trance.
Jim saw the monster’s tongue flicking in an out as his head neared a perfect place in the road for Jim to shoot. He hoped one shot would be enough, for he feared he might not get a chance for another one. He lined up the sights and put his face next to the rifle stock closing his left eye for better aiming. He began to put pressure on the trigger waiting for the moment to shoot. The monster came around the curve and the sight made Jim pause. He had never seen such a sight before. Shiny black skin, two huge legs with clawed feet and a long neck allowing the dragon to stand over twenty feet tall.
Just as Jim began to squeeze the trigger harder he was startled by voices screaming “don’t shoot, he’s friendly, don’t shoot, he’s our friend, he won’t hurt you.” Jim saw two boys about age 10 running down the road ahead of the dragon, waving their arms, and frantically shouting out for Jim not to shoot the dragon. Jim lowered the gun and said, “Well, holy Toledo, what do we have here, Puff the Magic Dragon in person?” “Come alive Ray we are in no danger.”
Jim and Ray crawled out of the upside down patrol car and walked to the center of the logging road. “These must be the boys reported missing by their mother a few days ago,” said Ray. “Boys, what’s going on here, where did this monster come from,” asked Ray. The boys grinned big and said, “ this is Rollo the Rollicking Serpent,” laughed the boys. “We have been playing with him and roaming the woods riding on his neck where we could see all over the woods. We had fun scaring people.” “You almost got him shot,” said Jim. “We know, that is why we ran ahead to stop you from shooting him.”
Rollo just sat there flicking his tongue and gently swishing his tail, not sure what was going on with these humans, but he was very curious to find out. “What are we going to do with him?” asked Ray. “I don’t know,” said Jim. “Well, Jim, we can’t leave him here so why not take him back to your farm until the Sheriff and the County Commissioners can decide what to do with him.” “Ray, if I take Rollo back to my farm that is the last I will likely see of my horses, they
will be gone in a flash.” “No, they won’t”, the two boys cried out, “he makes friends real quick. Please Mister take him to your farm.
“Well, okay, but just for a few days,” said Jim. Ray got on his radio and called for a tow truck to retrieve his cruiser and another deputy to pick him up. “We will wait for the other deputy, Ray, we will need an escort on the highway.” The boys began to sing.
“Rollo, Rollo, what do you say,
Do you want to come out and play.
High above the tallest tree,
Tell us what things you see.”
Rollo dipped his head to the ground and the boys scrambled upon his neck. Up they went high in the air, looking around, and laughing hard. Jim and Ray just stared and gawked at this magical dragon come to life. The other cruiser pulled into the logging road followed by the Tow Truck. The Deputy got out of the car with his hand on his gun. “Relax Fred, he is harmless”, said Ray.
After a few minutes, the cruiser was back on its wheels and firmly attached to the tow truck. Ray got into the other cruiser with Fred and headed for the highway. Rollo and the boys followed the cruiser and Jim and the tow truck followed Rollo. This caravan headed up the highway to Jim’s farm. Later, there were reports of people running off the road when they approached this caravan, but Jim and Ray said they did not see any of that. The boys were reunited with their family, but promised to be back to Jim’s farm every day to feed and play with Rollo. It was a sight to see with the horses galloping around the pasture and Rollo, with the boys aboard, trying to keep up with them. Whatever became of Rollo, I am not sure, but he seemed to be at home on Jim’s farm.
Author's Note: This tale was inspired by a wild rumor when I was about age 9 that a large snake-like creature was seen on Coal Iron Creek with eyes as big as car headlights and a tongue several feet long.