Wild Mountain Rose

There is a legend upon Mossy Ridge children hear

while listening to the old folks weaves their tales around

their supper table at night –


Two gentle spirits walking the rutty mountain roads under

the mystical Tennessee moonlight. These stories begin

many years ago about an old Cherokee and a little girl

he called his Wild Mountain Rose –

Folks …

First saw her drinking from a cool mountain stream all legs

and dirty yellow hair, abandoned by her family, so the story

goes, but no one is sure of that, if the truth were told. The

first time the old Cherokee saw her she was sleeping under

a bush folks call the Wild Mountain Rose –


She was with him no matter where he would go. Folks would

say that without old Willie Youngblood she would not have

survived –


Knew that without her, he himself would have died. The years

went by quickly and they both grew old, time had touched their

hair with gray –


They could only dream about their younger days. One cool spring

morning, Willie woke to find her gone from his side; he sat for

hours head hung low as he cried –


He found her lying peacefully; she had died under a familiar bush

on a soft bed of leaves, a mournful death chant was the only way

the old Cherokee knew how to grieve.

Now if you know where to look, it is in the Tennessee Mountains

where Willie Youngblood’s Wild Mountain Rose can be found –


The damp rotting forest floor in a shallow grave, up on Mossy Ridge

near the entrance of Chicopee Cave. The following winter Old Willie

died, and they buried him next to his Wild Mountain Rose –


Say in the moonlight two ghostly spirits can be seen sitting on the

banks of Chestnut Creek, or floating along the rutty mountain roads.

When the sun comes up, they disappear…

Or so the legend goes, but everyone on Mossy Ridge knows that it

is Old Willie and that golden haired pup he found many years ago that

he called his…

Wild Mountain Rose.


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