“Yonder stands the Hanging Tree”
The Sheriff proudly said
To the crowd of pioneers,
as he grandly led
them through the little western town,
Not much to see or do,
Saloon, school, jail and general store
A little church and you
Had pretty much seen all there was
To see of this small town,
But behold the Hanging Tree,
The largest one around,
And when there was a hanging,
Folks came from far and wide,
Toting heavy picnic baskets
“Like a carnival!” they cried.
And so the guilty were strung up,
and breathed their last and died.
And no one could quite figure out,
Why their source of pride,
This stately, regal, giant oak,
The greatest one around,
Suddenly one day just fell
Over on the ground;
Some said there was an earthquake,
Some said that lightning struck,
But the skies were clear that day,
Some called it devil’s luck.
Some said the tree had shuddered,
Some said they heard a cry
From deep within its branches,
As the hanging tree just died.
Sandra Lee Smith/May 2008