~The Fifolet~

The Legend of the Fifolet!

Tales of buried pirate treasure are prevalent in the South, especially in Louisiana. As tradition states, before a pirate such as William Kidd or Jean Lafitte would bury their treasure, they would kill a member of their own crew to throw into the hole along with the chest. Doing so would bind the slain manís spirit to the treasure, restlessly guarding the hoard until the crack of doomsday. This spirit would then take on the form of a ball of light, known as a Fifolet. Other names for the Fifolet include will Ďo the wisp and jack-o-lanterns. Usually a light blue color, stories and sightings of the Fifolet are prevalent in Louisiana. One such story involves two men working on the railroad along Lake Pontchartrain. One night, a soft blue light moving through the trees awakened them. Having already heard the legend from the local people, the men grabbed their shovels and ran after the spirit, their minds on the fabled treasure. The light finally stopped, sinking into the ground. The two men dug furiously, with thoughts of a carefree life away from the railroad etched into their minds. After a few minutes, they struck something hard. Using their hands, they brushed away the dirt to reveal the top of a large wooden chest. At this point, one of the men got greedy, and struck his companion over the head. As the assailant began to pull up on the chest in an attempt to get it out of the hole, the ground around his feet began to sink. He tried pulling his legs free of the quicksand, but the more he struggled, the deeper he sank. As the other man started to awaken, he saw his friendís last moments, screaming in terror as both he and the treasure sunk into the ground. Frightened that he might share his friendís fate, he ran back to the camp, where he crawled back into his tent and waited for the morning. He returned when the sun had risen, but the only thing that he found from the previous nightís encounter was he and his friendís shovels. The ground where both his friend and the treasure had been was solid once more. As he left the swamp, he could hear the sound of laughter in the wind, mocking him. One can learn much from a visit to a Louisiana bayou. The spectacular sights of the various flora and wildlife, some of which are indigenous only to this state, would certainly make for an informative field trip. But if the reader should ever behold a light blue light zipping through the trees, think twice before pursuing it for its fabled hoard.

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