Apache Leap

The Apache chief and his braves that day
On a hunt for meat had ridden away.
Waiting their return from wherever they'd been
Were the women, children and a few old men.

They soon decided it might be good
To forage around for food and wood.
They left their camp for a near by hill
Feeling sure their baskets they soon could fill.

there were hackberries, squawberries and cactus fruit, sweet.
There were nuts from buck brush and beans from mesquite.
At the foot of the hill was a sandy space.
They could dig wild onions and let the kids race.

At the edge of the space was a cliff steep and sheer.
And the children were warned not to go too near.
And then their happiness changed to fear,
As the thud of hoof beats they now could hear.

Then warriors from an enemy tribe appeared.
A ruthless group which they greatly feared.
Their intent was to capture and make them slaves
While unprotected by their own chief and brave.

They were crowded at once to the edge of the bluff.
Jostled by horses and all treated rough.
The warriors shouting with tomahawks raised,
Making loud threats and with evil crazed.

The victims know their escape was naught,
So they made a decision in one quick thought.
With babes in arms and hand in hand,
Over they leaped, this brave little band.

Shocked and subdued were the warriors then.
How could they boast of being brave men.
In shame they mounted and rode away,
Thwarted by women more brave than they.

Women whose freedom was loved so much
That life without it was worthless as such.
They preferred to go to their deaths and graves,
Than give up and be captured and tortured as slaves.

So down, down they would plunging go
And be dashed to bits on the rocks below.
The earth was enriched where the bodies were strewn
And the place seemed to glow in the light of the moon.

And some folks say, that to this day,
The wild flowers bloom more brightly in May.
And the spirits return to hover and weep
O'er the spot where those fell from "Apache Leap."

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