No matter where you drive around here you’ll see at least two cemeteries on your way to your destination. Some may be out in the middle of a field, others next to the road, while some are nestled into a wooded area. The main cemetery in Luray is quite large, but there are at least two others, that I can think of, that contain around 20 or so graves. We actually pass a single grave marker in the corner of a pasture after we cross the bridge on the way into town. But I digress. Here’s a story told around here about one of those cemeteries nestled into the woods.
One fall, two local boys were walking through the woods on the Eastern slope of the Massanutten looking for walnuts. Along the way, they had filled their buckets, shirts, pockets and whatever else they could with the walnuts they had found. When they could hold no more nuts, they decided to head for home by taking a country road. When they came to a cemetery, the boys decided that it was a good spot to stop and rest and divide the nuts between themselves.
The two boys sat in the shade of a large tree and dumped out all of their nuts into a large pile. In the process, two of the nuts rolled away and landed near the road. The boys then proceeded to divide out the nuts. “One for you. One for me. One for you. One for me.”
As they were doing this, another boy was passing by and happened to hear them. The boy looked into cemetery but could not see the two boys counting the nuts as they were hidden by the large tree. He hesitated a moment and then back to town. “Dad! Dad!” he yelled as he ran into his house. “The cemetery. Come quick!”
“What’s wrong?” his father asked.
“Can’t explain now,” he panted, “let’s just go, you’ll see!” The boy and his father ran up the cemetery road and stopped when they reached the cemetery. They stood alongside the road quietly listening for a few moments. Then the father asked his son what was wrong.
“Do you hear that?” the boy whispered. Both listened intently until they heard the boys. “One for you. One for me. One for you. One for me. One for you…”
The boy then exclaimed, “The devil and the Lord are dividing the souls!”
The father was skeptical, but stood silently until a few minutes later when the boys had completed dividing out the nuts and one boy said to the other, “Now, as soon as we get those two nuts down by the road, we’ll have them all.”
Keep your fork