July 16, 2011
The Horned Boy of Bangor
After last week's post about Pamola I got a hankering for more Maine folklore. Here's a great story from Horace Beck's 1957 book The Folklore of Maine.
Many years ago near Bangor a family had two sons. The older boy was always mischievous and getting into trouble. He was so poorly behaved that his neighbors said he had the Devil in him. The younger boy, however, was quiet and well-behaved.
One day the older boy found out his younger brother would be walking home after dark. "Aha!" he thought. "The perfect occasion for a prank."
He covered his body with a cow skin, put a cow skull on his head, and hid in the bushes near the road. When his little brother walked by, he jumped from his hiding place, howling and waving his arms. He expected his brother to run all the way home!
The surprise was on him. His younger brother picked up a large branch and hit the horned monster soundly on the head. Then he ran home.
When he told his parents what happened they ran down the road. Their worst fears were confirmed - their oldest son was dead, killed with a single blow.
His parents pulled off the cow skin, but no matter how hard they tried they were unable to remove the horns from his head. They asked neigbhors and friends to help, but to no avail. The horns wouldn't budge. It was if they were fused to his head.
A few days later the boy was buried with the horns still attached. At the funeral all the neighbors whispered, "We always knew he had the Devil in him."