A Howl-o-Ween Tail
2020 certainly got off to a very scary start,
with a national health scare frightening the heart.
There have been crazy hurricanes causing great fear
And inferno-like fires leaving people in tears.
Summer brought the murder hornets to our shores,
After that we all thought there couldn’t be more!
But right here in Warrenton something spooky’s going on
Our own mystery unfolding, for which there’s alarm.
People say there’s a horseman riding through the mist,
That he’s haunting the farms, like he’s going down a list.
He visited the Moorings one night under a harvest moon
looming large in the sky as if trumpeting doom!
From there he went to Granville where the Nashes had a fright
When the horseman came galloping by in the dark of night
O’er the stone walls of Land Ho and the O’Bannon place
The Saffers said they heard hounds sounding, as if in chase.
Through the fields of Oakwood he went before dawn,
What a scream could be heard from Caroline Collomb!
From there his trail went cold, like he had vanished in thin air
Until tracks were found at Ashland, said the Gendrons: “Over there!”
A single set of hoofprints, surrounded by paws of hounds,
Heading ‘round Picket Mountain, horn blowing, such a sound!
Across the polo fields of Hillsborough the rider could be seen,
whip cracking, horn glinting, red coat flapping in the breeze.
Crossing over the gravelly road, with hounds under hoof
The Huntsman headed o’er the hill, past Ridgelea to the Dunbar’s roost.
Then through the kennels he blew, causing hounds and bassets to stir.
Barry and Will said it sounded like a dog fight, with flying of fur.
Over at Clovercroft, where the Tufts had been peacefully asleep,
They woke with a fright, hearing hooves clacking on the street
At Clovelly they left tracks in the arena around the barn
Though they made quite a mess, they left with no harm.
From there the rider could be seen flying through North Wales,
Past the carriage house, the manor and the many horse stalls
What was he chasing? And where would he catch it?
His hounds were determined to run ‘til they got it!
Through the woods he continued, over hills and across streams
Leaving unrest in his path with dogs barking and many screams
Old Flikeid’s Field, now better known as the Mitchell’s
Brought him to a stop, collecting hounds or dropped nickels?
Flecks of scarlet red could be seen on the ground for miles
Between the Larrimore’s and Bartees, throughout the wilds.
From Springview to View Hill, there was nary a trace
As if again he took to the air to get from place to place
Through the Hedges Woods he galloped all the way to Llamorada
Before turning up at Liberty Hall with the horse and hound armada
Billows of steam could be seen rising off the horse’s back
As the dawn was breaking, casting light on the pack
By now hounds numbered in the thousands – Oh the sound!
Each with it’s own pitch, their noses drawn to the ground.
Around the pond they raced past Farley and Brandy Rock
As if in full chase, ghost fox leading them to his spot.
The Huntsman dismounted to praise the ethereal hounds
Who looked to the woods edge to see who was around
Through the mist they could be seen coming from every direction,
Riders of centuries past, gathering for one last collection.
Members of Warrenton Hunt from it’s start in 1887,
Returned to earth just once, from their places in heaven.
Familiar faces could be seen from First Field and Second,
Former huntsmen, some whips, their horses they beckoned
It’s rare that the Harvest moon is shining on Halloween
Seems the occasion stirred nostalgia for old members to see
The sport they held dear, the land they rode with delight
Is dwindling away…large hunt fields are now a rare sight
Perhaps they felt if gathered together every once in a while
They could inspire the living members to continue in style!
It is All Hallow’s Eve, in the year 2020. Where will you be?
At home, showing your support by shopping like a fiend!
Every dollar you spend goes towards feeding our hounds,
Supporting our Huntsman, our whips, our hallowed ground.
Please open your wallets one last time as you get to the end
And give to Feed the Hounds, in memory of an old friend!