Ghostly Music on Grassy Island (Part Two)
As we continue this week with a bit of folklore from the Pee Dee River area, we find that in the old days a lot of people used the ford to cross the river just above Grassy Island.
As white settlers settled in, local Native American tribes either died out or moved west. But you know it’s strange that a lot of local legends still seem to hang in some sections.
So, it was with the ghostly music around Grassy Island. Well, it seemed that whenever a thick fog settled over the river, people could hear the softest flute music coming from both sides of the riverbank. At first the new settlers thought it was just the wind blowing through the trees, but some elders said no, that it was part of an old native legend they had heard many years ago, but they couldn’t remember exactly how it had happened.
A few years passed and, to their surprise, some of the settlers, who lived on the eastern side of the river, saw a small group of natives cross the ford on foot. At the head of the feast was a native shaman dressed in full native attire.
Understandably suspicious, the settlers wanted to know why the natives had crossed the river and what they were doing. What the native shaman told them was enough to grow the hair on a dog’s back !!
Using broken English, the shaman said they had come to appease the wandering spirits of two of their own.
To the settlers, this was all native nonsense, but they left the natives alone while they held their native ritual.
As the natives seem to be finishing their ritual, a flute has been played. Most of the settlers said that the music that came out of the flute was so beautiful that it seemed the angels of heaven were listening.
As the natives were about to cross the river, a young white man asked the shaman what exactly had happened.
The shaman replied – young male, many years ago, a brave young Indian, son of a great chief who lived on the other side, and an Indian girl who lived on this side of this great river were deeply in love. . For some reason, their fathers did not get along, so the young lovers had to meet in secret. When they couldn’t cross the big river to see each other, they would each play the flute across the river for the other to hear.
As many moons passed, the shaman said, the two groups of Indians were at war with each other for fishing and hunting rights over the land and the river. Many brave young people were killed, but that still did not take away the love the young couple had for each other. With only the sounds of their flutes from opposite sides of the great river, these two communicated.
It was a real misty morning and the river was high, that when the young brave heard the sound of his lover’s flute across the river, he could no longer resist his love for his young daughter.
Braving the tumultuous waters, the brave young Indian made his way to the middle of the river while heading towards his lover’s arms. But that was not to be the case, said the shaman, for when he reached the
depths of the river, he lost sight of the springboards and the strong current carried him to his feet, down the river, never to be seen again.
Word soon spread that the brave boy had drowned and his body had disappeared under the waters.
The death of the chief’s son seems to put an end to the war, but the young girl never recovers from the death of her lover. For days she would go to the riverside to play the flute, hoping that her lover’s spirit would return.
It was one misty morning, after the young girl had played the flute for what seemed like the last time, that she heard the most beautiful flute music coming from across the river. They were the same notes her young lover had played to her once.
Without hesitation, the girl jumped into the rushing waters of the river and walked towards the music on the opposite bank.
Unfortunately, the Maidan also disappeared under the waters to find her lover in another world.
As the shaman finished telling the old story to the young man, a great mist seemed to appear over the waters of the river and the skies seemed to be alive with the sounds of flutes.
The band of natives had come to appease the spirits of the young lovers of their tribe, but it seems that no man on earth can take away from them the affection which the two lovers had for each other.
It has been said that even today, as you paddle around Grassy Island on a misty morning, you can also hear the dismal music of the flutes coming from both sides of the mighty river.
JA Bolton is the author of “Just Passing Time”, co-author of “Just Passing Time Together” and recently published his new book “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories”, all of which can be purchased locally or on Amazon. Contact him at [emailÂ protected]