“Is there anybody there?” said the traveler,
Knocking on the moonlit door,
Famished from the walk across the dark moor.
A man’s voice answered his questioning call,
“Who is it now, at this time of the night?
I am but a loner, don’t put me in plight.”
“I am looking for shelter, I have traveled far.
I just want some food, no need for alarm.
Please let me enter, kind sir, I mean no harm.”
A shadow appeared, at the window sill,
Beady eyes, stared out, searching with fear,
They looked at the traveler, standing near.
“Stranger, you may rest in the guard’s home,
I have no food, not a morsel I have got,
I shall not open the door, forget that thought.”
Waited the traveler, for moments a few,
Cursing his bad luck, he then went his way,
Rain now falling, looking for some place to stay.
When morning dawned, the loner heard a tale,
His maid said to him, “A murder last night,
Throat slit; the neighbor now a sad sight.
A stranger in the rain, asked for a room,
They thought no harm, took pity on him,
Poor souls; befell on them, a fate so grim.
Slit the man’s throat, after tying his wife,
Took away their gold, all the money they had,
Never saw she his face, in a mask he was clad.”
Realized with a pang, the loner that moment,
Last night could well have been his very last,
Thinking of his neighbor, he stood there aghast.
The stranger still travels, even this very day,
Looking for shelter, and some innocent prey,
A bloodstained dagger, in his pocket you can find,
Beware the traveler, don’t think of being kind