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White Stallion of Riudoso Canyon

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by SeaWolf

Up in those canyons far Riudoso way

Runs a white stallion so legends do say

Near Apache Mountain & high among silk clouds

Prances haunted white steed free of his shrouds

Upgrade we pull hoofs pawing earth

Load more heavy than surely it's worth

Darkest of nights & no ghost by my side

Alone am I on this ancient land's ride

When last well ahead my senses do behold

'Twas naught but ever cold & dark road

Yet out of corner of my weary left eye

Wild white horse so then did I spy

Running aside me or so 'twould seem

Was this white stallion all blazing a'gleam

Head held high & hoofs sparklin' gold

'Twas that wild stallion of legends so told

'Round top bend just before grade

Challenge o'me this white fury then made

Down down down so I went

Energy wasted & time all but spent

'Twas cold that night or so did it feel

'Twas only that which made this seem real

For this white stallion such baron o'death

Ran so close I could feel his hot breath

Down down down then we plundered

Oft o'such feeling I'd lazily wondered

Yet now 'twas all but a race in time old

'Tween me & that charger o'blood done run cold

Turn after turn through canyon we sped

As if 'twas from that very devil we fled

Yet now I saw that truly indeed

'Twas that devil himself was that white steed

Los Cruces peak looms far up ahead

Deserts white & canyon walls red

I've run again faster than he

That wild white stallion who would so be me

Now it is said that illusions will play

With mind & eye in these deserts each day

I cannot be he whom may so judge

The why of such mountain which up I did trudge

Yet all said & done & time now back slowed

Across from that valley where river once flowed

Stands that white stallion as if to me say

Why not turn 'round & we shall so again play


Author's note:

the white stallion in this rime-tale is thought to have been the long

time nemesis of the earliest of travelers headed out Alamagordo way

from Roswell's Bottomless Lake westerly bound from the Texas panhandle...

indeed, this once weary traveler, having run from the Texas arroyos

through the New Mexico shifting sands & up Riudoso Canyon way...

did often encounter this fabled white steed...

He always appeared in the depths of the night... always dis-appeared

just before the last turn into the white sands of the desert below...

One day.... when refueling my Perterbilt "big-truck" in Roswell...

over a steak & eggs chow-down, in conversation with the local speed-cops

(as they are called)... I spoke of these encounters...

& was told that were I ever to have run the canyon by day I would have noticed

that for each house or dwelling (this is an Indian reservation...) is a corral

& within each such enclosure is one or more white horses; & that all

such corrals are prone to disrepair & that it may not be uncommon

for the inhabitants of such to be found wanderin' the canyons at night...

returning by day for food & water.

I accepted such as a fine explanation & continued on my way into the canyon....

Perhaps though, I was not as entirely convinced as it may have seemed....

For... an old Apache Warrior once told me that this fabled stallion of whom I rime

is the last of the Apache Warrior Spirits.... & still wildly ranges his canyons

& that he chooses very carefully those with whom he runs through the nights......


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