I’ve got another wintry story today from AmericanFolklore.net. It’s about a not very nice trapper from Canada.
The trapper who roamed the wilds of Labrador on a sleigh pulled by eight pure white Huskies. He was tall and dressed in layer upon layer of animal skins.
The trapper was a cruel man, and the people in the local towns did not like him, though they tolerated his company when he came to town because of the rich animal skins he brought with him. When he came to a town, the trapper would sell his skins and then drink away his money at the local tavern. He assaulted the local women, picked fights with the townsmen, and tried to sell alcohol to the natives. After a few days of such behavior, the constable would toss the trapper out of town. Then the trapper would resume his roaming and trapping until he came to another town.
No one knows exactly how the trapper met his fate, although it was rumored that he went a little too far in his pursuit of a local innkeeper’s fair wife and was shot to death by her disgruntled husband. Other folks say he lived to an old age and died out on the trail. But it swiftly became clear that death did not end his roaming.
Each winter, the trapper’s ghost roams the wilds of Labrador on a sleigh pulled by eight white Huskies. They say that his spirit was refused entry into heaven and remains forever in Labrador, atoning for the many sins he committed during his lifetime by helping lost travelers find their way home. Many a weary soul has looked up from their frantic circling to see a large sleigh pulled by white dogs coming toward them. If they follow it, they are led to safety.
Once a lost trapper found himself caught in a terrible blizzard, far from the nearest town. As he sought in vain to find a place to shelter from the storm, the phantom trapper appeared with his sleigh. Animal skins flapping in the raging wind and blinding snow, the phantom tenderly lifted the nearly-frozen man, placed him among the rugs on his sleigh, and drove the dying trapper to the nearest town. The phantom carried the man right into the inn, placed him gently on a chair by the door, summoned the innkeeper to care for the man, and then vanished right before the astonished innkeeper’s eyes.
I kind of like that the trapper changed his ways after his death.
Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.
It’s time to start thinking about 2017 Reading Challenges. I’m not sure how many I’m going to sign up for, but I can’t resist the Cloak and Dagger challenge that is being hosted by Stormi at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Barb from Booker T’s Farm again this year.
You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, goodreads, booklikes, shelfari, etc.)
Make a goal post and link it back tp the sign-up post with your goal for this challenge.
Books need to be novellas or novels, please no short stories. (At least 100 pages +)
Crossovers into other challenges is fine.
Challenge will be from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends April 15th)
There will be a monthly link up. If you tweet about your progress or reviews please use the hashtag #2017CloakDaggerChal so others can see it.
From British humorist comes this collection of ghost stories--told around the fire on Christmas Eve, because, according to Jerome, almost all English ghost stories begin on Christmas Eve. He introduces them tongue-in-cheek as "sad but authentic"--delightful and entertaining for any fan of Jerome.
Apparently telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve was a tradition in England. This is a funny little book. I found it because I was looking for Christmassy ghost stories for a Thursday’s Tale post, but this is more of a parody of ghost stories.
“Christmas Eve is the ghosts’ great gala night. On Christmas Eve they hold their annual fete. On Christmas Eve everybody in Ghostland who IS anybody—or rather, speaking of ghosts, one should say, I suppose, every nobody who IS any nobody—comes out to show himself or herself, to see and to be seen, to promenade about and display their winding-sheets and grave-clothes to each other, to criticise one another’s style, and sneer at one another’s complexion.”
The narrator tells us that it is Christmas Eve at his Uncle John’s house. Gathered together are of the narrator, old Dr Scrubbles, the local curate, Mr Samuel Coombes, Teddy Biffles and Uncle John. At the party goes on and they more of the punch is drunk, the merrier they become. It’s really a short, laugh out loud book. I may actually pull it out again on Christmas Eve. Don’t let the fact that it’s ghost stories confuse you – it’s funny, not scary.
I guess when it was first published it had 90-some illustrations. The version I read unfortunately didn’t have them included. Archive.org does have it online where you can see the illustrations, like the following.
I also found a video that includes most, if not all, of the illustrations.
About Jerome K. Jerome
Jerome Klapka Jerome (2 May 1859 – 14 June 1927) was an English writer and humourist, best known for the comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1887). Other works include the essay collections Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886) and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow; Three Men on the Bummel, a sequel to Three Men in a Boat (Packing for the journey); and several other novels.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: