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The Swallowing Earthquake


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

The Indian village that in 1765 stood just below the site of Oxford,
Alabama, was upset when the news was given out that two of the squaws had
given simultaneous birth to a number of children that were spotted like
leopards. Such an incident betokened the existence of some baneful spirit
among them that had no doubt leagued itself with the women, who were at
once tried on the charge of witchcraft, convicted, and sentenced to death
at the stake, while a watch was to be set on the infants, so early
orphaned, lest they, too, should show signs of malevolent possession. The
whole tribe, seventeen hundred in number, assembled to see the execution,
but hardly were the fires alight when a sound like thunder rolled beneath
their feet, and with a hideous crack and groan the earth opened and
nearly every soul was engulfed in a fathomless and smoking pit-all,
indeed, save two, for a couple of young braves who were on the edge of
the crowd flung themselves flat on the heaving ground and remained there
until the earthquake wave had passed. The hollow afterward filled with
water and was called Blue Pond. It is popularly supposed to be
fathomless, but it was shown that a forest once spread across the bottom,
when, but a few years ago, a great tree arose from the water, lifting
first its branches, then turning so as to show its roots above the
surface, and afterward disappeared.

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