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The Hounds of Hells Lake

Sunset at Loch Hourne
Barking from its rocky shore
At sailors passing by
Sometimes at the death of day
Sometimes under a noontime sky
The black dog and her starving pups
Haunt this area the locals tell
That’s known to all as Loch Hourn
Otherwise the Lake of Hell

This remote Scottish area
Would make a great landscape
Was said for a thousand years to be
Home for the creature that can change shape
That it desired itself to do
It would form for those to see
That it would lure to their death
It was called the Kelpie!

And among its shadowy waters
Sometimes covered clouds dense and fogs.
There lies a landmass in the middle
Knows as the Isle of the Wild Dogs.
And on dark and stormy nights
Its not just the wind… the locals know
But the dark howling of the dogs who died
Some ninety years ago!

A son to hunt rabbits went
Donald Cameron and his pet
That was due to have puppies soon
To hunt together out they set.
After sometime the dog got lost
As Cameron cursed his luck
His dog in a cave he found
That had collapsed – the dog was now stuck!

Though he tried, to save he failed
And so back home he went
For till his faithful dog was freed
He would not rest content
But storms were blowing stronger that day
And held for many more
And the Cameron boys were thwarted
Each time the storm cast them back to mainland shore.

The Great War was now raging
And young Cameron got the call
And the morning he left he was his dog
Had freed itself from the rockfall
And it stood on its shoreline
Looking at its master and friend
Who by cruelty and mankind
His country to war him did send.

And when to war the boy had gone
His brothers tried some more
The stormy waters for to cross
And reach the islands shore
The dog had her pups since then
Though food was in scarce supply
And temper and trust she had not for them
And to attack she was not shy.

On a spring evening in 1915
As her half grown pups around her played
She sat upon a shoreline rock
And quite a sight she made
As the sun sank behind the ocean
Telling end of day to beast, to man and fowl
Her head she threw back to the sky
And let an eerie high pitched howl!

All that long night she could be heard
Crying to the black black sky
Next morning on the shore was found
Her corpse!for she did die!
Some time later the word came
That on that very day
Her master died at war in Europe
Round the time she began to bay.

Her pups ruled the island as their own
Attacked those who on it did land
Including an unfortunate yachtsman
Who nearly lost his like, not only his hand!
The men folk from the village
To organize themselves set out
And after some days were happy
That the wild pack was wiped out.

Some said that still a dog was seen
By the shoreline, crying to the sky
Across the loch from where it came
In distant days gone by!
In April 1930, a shepherd there slept
With flock and dog for the night
And, to the baying of a pack, he rose to check
But nothing of them was in sight.

The flock were grazing peaceful
Normal all did appear
Only the whimpering terror of his own dog
Gave substance to his fear
In time the island was sold
By major Lewis O’ Conner it was bought
His son Keven went to the isle to see
Though locals told him that not he aught.

Shortly after he landed
It is told by other men
Came barking loud and a cry for help
Kevin was never seen again.
The Major through the island wildly searched
But nothing found at all
Of man or dog, that was ever there
No matter where he looked or did call.

As the search boats back to the mainland went
One constable claimed to see
A Labrador black upon a rock
Looking out at them on the sea.
So rapidly back they returned
And tracker dogs from the mainland they brought
The mysterious creature had disappeared.
They found not what they sought.

There are people to this very day
Who to the isle wont go
For they of the tragedy
And of the stories know.
Should you dear reader be so bold
As your way there to make
Steer clear of the Isle of the Wild Dogs
On Loch Hourn, in English: Hells Lake!”

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