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Our annual Halloween poem: "Werecrash"

When you're driving through the wooded night,
In fog so white and thick,
By the glow of just one headlight
The moon as full as tick,

There's a chance that something big and furry
With the features of a hound
Will quickly into your path scurry
Then, distracted by the sound

Of the engine of your speeding car
He's rooted to the spot.
He's more frightened than you are.
Your headlight has him caught.

Your eyes will meet with frightened wonder.
In that nanosecond freeze
Your stomach will twist under
And your brain will turn to cheese.

You'll try to process what you see.
He'll try to look away.
Your locked up tires begin to skree
Across the icy roadway.

But it's too late to brake your fate.
Your bumper hits and then
You scream "Lookout!" a bit too late,
Then silence 'cross the fen.

The engine idles, then cuts out,
Strangled by the snow.
You daren't even turn about.
You just don't want to know.

"This can't be happening," you say.
"I'm home asleep, or drunk."
But then you hear him start to bay
From just beneath your trunk.

The sound is like a lightning bolt.
It echoes through the pines.
But between each howling jolt
You hear a plaintive whine.

You creep outside and start to peer
Behind you, then you choke.
Looking up with drooping ears,
He says, "My leg is broke."

You don't respond at first, so he
Lets loose another howl.
You cannot bear the sound to hear
Of suff'ring beast most foul.

You say, "There, there" to stop the sound
Which cleaves into your heart.
He says, "Shut up! The break's compound!
Now help or please depart!"

The beast's command unlocks your legs.
You rush down to his side.
He smells of sweat and roadkill dregs.
He says, "Give me a ride."

He hooks a furry paw behind
Your neck and starts to rise.
But though you try the ice to mind,
Your leg from 'neath you flies.

The slip, the snap, and you're flat on your back.
The pain does not exceed
The shame you feel as he starts to laugh.
"My God," he says, "what a dweeb."

An hour lying cold and lame
And hoping help will come
Makes you forget and you exclaim,
"My back has gone quite numb!"

He eyes your neck and clicks his jaws.
His throat makes quite a purr.
He says, "You know, the cold's less raw
If I give you a nice coat of fur..."

Ello is tonglen for social networkers

On this day in 1993, at 15:42 local, members of the U.S. Army 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Delta, Air Force Pararescue, and the 160th SOAR began their attempted arrest of Omar Salad Elmi in the city of Mogadishu.