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Lightning and Joe

The horizon darkened, the people grew frightened,
An ominous cloud was approaching the farm;
Its trunk near the ground and its base in the heaven
With flashes of lightning which caused them alarm.

It swept o'er the land with intent to devour,
A monster cloud almost a mile at its base,
Sucking up trees in a display of power
And setting the stage for Joe's life or death race.

Cattle and horses were caught in the updraft,
Wagons and people were hurled through the air;
Death and destruction swirled over the country
And people hid in their storm cellars in prayer.

The farmer got frightened and called to his children,
Some working the fields and the others at play;
He took them all down to the well-stocked storm cellar
And told them a whirlwind was heading their way.

His wife said that Kathleen was visiting Grandma
Because she was lonely after Grandpa died;
Joe whistled for Lightning and mounted the stallion
Sped over the trail on his perilous ride.

He reached Grandma's house and he saw Kathleen crying,
Grandma was too sick and feeble to go;
She kissed the young girl and she urged them to hurry,
Prayed God would protect her granddaughter and Joe.

They mounted the horse and raced over the prairie,
The threatening vortex was right overhead;
The funnel descended and Joe changed direction,
Evading the monster the mighty horse fled.

They reached the storm cellar, the door was flung open,
Their story repeated in cities and farms,
How Joe and his stallion had outrun the whirlwind
And dropped the child safely in her mother's arm

Joe looked at the funnel as it fell upon him,
And soothed the scared horse with a smile on his face;
There was no escape from the furious twisteró
He knew he and Lightning had run their last race.

"What happened to Grandma?" Kathleen asked her mother.
"She went to see Grandpa in heaven on high."
"And Lightning and Joe?" asked the girl's younger brother.
"Lightning and Joe are with them in the sky."

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