the planking, gnarled and worn,
Among the timbers choked with thorn,
The Bullark lurked with twisted horn
To guard an ancient bridge…
Most travelers refused to cross,
But would instead endure the loss
Of half a day and wade across
The swamp at Mossy Ridge.
O'er the years a few men tried
To cast the evil beast aside
And battled bravely till they died,
So still the threat remained…
Thus gold was offered up instead
As bounty on the Bullark's head
In hopes the beast would end up dead,
Unconscious, bound, or chained.
One night before the crack of dawn,
Young Jubal Kridge trudged out upon
That rotting bridge where few had gone
To face the Bullark's wrath…
Awakened from a restless sleep,
The Bullark stirred in shadows deep
Then up the timbers slowly creep
To block poor Jubal's path.
"How dare you cross my bridge,"
"And face a fight you can't
You're far too small to wield a sword
Or manage to escape…
"I'll drag your carcass underneath
And yank bones from your fleshy sheath
To clean my ears and pick my teeth
Until you have no shape!"
At first poor Jubal was alarmed
To stand before the beast unarmed;
It seemed quite clear he would be harmed
Before the night was through…
But as he watched the Bullark sway,
He noticed how it lurked in gray
And from the shadows wouldn’t stray–
Then mused what he should do...
"Once a bridge cannot be crossed,
Then all its usefulness is lost
Except to those who might accost–
It serves no earthly good!"
Upon his shoe he struck a match
And tossed it in a patch of thatch
And watched the flames arise to catch
Dry beams of seasoned wood.
The Bullark yelped in stunned dismay
To see the darkness melt away
And leave no shelter during day
Or anywhere to turn…
Just as the dawn unleashed the sun,
The Bullark bellowed, "I am
And fled as fast as it could run
To nevermore return.
Then all the people gathered 'round
To watch the bridge burn to the ground
And celebrate their freedom found
Within its ember spray…
The bounty went to Jubal Kridge,
Who bought the swamp at Mossy Ridge
And built an anti-Bullark bridge
Which still spans there today.