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낙타는 없다[귀신 씻나락 까먹는 소리(418)] 이승호 동화작가
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  • 승인 2019.02.11 13:13
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(1)

19세기 말 미국 애리조나에 빨갱이 유령들이 나타났다. 빨갱이들은 순식간에 공포의 존재가 됐다. “빨갱이 등짝에 사람의 해골과 뼈다귀가 한몸뚱아리로 붙어있다.” “악마처럼 무섭게 생겼는데 귀신처럼 운다” “사람들을 마구마구 죽인다.” 소문은 삽시간에 퍼져 나갔다.

사실 빨갱이들의 정체는 낙타였다. 그 낙타들은 어이하여 머나먼 미국까지 가게 됐을까. 녀석들은 19세기 중반 미군이 군수품을 운반하기 위해 들여온 것이었다. 일부 군인들은 말 대신 낙타를 타기도 했다.

남북전쟁이 발발하자 군은 낙타들을 공매로 팔아버렸다. 어수선한 와중에 일부의 낙타들이 들판으로 도망갔다. 그 낙타들은 들판을 떠돌며 점점 야생의 존재로 바뀌어 갔다.

빨갱이들은 바로 그 낙타들이었던 것이다. 낙타들은 무지하고 못난 인간들이 쏘아대는 총을 맞고 하나둘 쓰러져갔다. 빨갱이 누명을 쓰고 들판에 피를 뿌렸다. 그들을 위한 무덤은 아무데도 없었다.


(2)

“5.18은 빨갱이들이 저지른 폭동이다.” “북한 특수군 600명이 주도한 게릴라전이다.” 21세기, 대한민국에 빨갱이 괴담을 퍼뜨리고 있는 자들이 나타났다. 지만원이 오랫동안 반복해오던 새빨간 거짓뉴스를 한국당 의원 김진태·이종명·김순례 등이 넙죽 받아 반복하고 있는 것이다.

“역사의 해석은 다양할 수 있다.” 여론의 비판이 거세지자 자칭 ‘전라도의 딸’ 나경원이 이렇게 한마디 얹었다. 바람이 가라앉기는커녕 더욱더 거세지자 슬그머니 말을 바꿨다. "5·18 희생자들에게 아픔을 줬다면 그 부분에 대해서는 유감을 표한다." 이 ‘전라도 딸’의 뇌구조를 어떻게 해석해야 하나.

심지어 김진태는 이런 상황을 즐기는 것처럼 보인다. 이런 말을 했다. “(5·18 민주화운동을 비하했다는 비판에 대해) 그분들이 저를 더 띄워주는 거라 생각한다.” 이 ‘강원도 아들’의 개방구를 어떻게 해석해야 하나.

그런가하면 황교안은 자한당 당권을 한번 잡아보겠다며 공식 스피치에서 “무덤에 있어야 할 386운동권들...” 운운하는 개소리를 날렸다. 지겹고 지루하니 다른 자들의 이름은 이하 생략하자.

이해한다. 당신들은 빨갱이 없으면 살 수 없는 존재들이라는 사실을. 그럼에도 불구하고 부탁한다. 이제 빨갱이 타령 그만하고 제발 다른 노래좀 들려달라. 낙타는 없다.

(부록)

빨갱이 낙타

미국 바보들이 붙인 이름입니다요. Red Ghost, also known as Fantasma Colorado.

생김새

미국 바보들의 묘사입니다요. “붉은색의 낙타 유령으로 사람의 해골과 뼈다귀가 낙타 등에 붙어있다.” The Red Ghost appears as a very large, demonically hideous camel like creature, with a human skeleton tied to it's back.

괴담의 탄생, “빨갱이를 잡아라!”

1883년 애리조나에서 최초 목격된 이후 아래와 같은 사건들 연이어 발생..... The story begins back in 1883 at a lonely ranch near Eagle Creek in southeastern Arizona. The Apache wars were drawing to a close. However, a few renegade bands were on the prowl, keeping isolated ranches in a constant state of siege. Early one morning, two men rode out to check on the livestock leaving their wives at the ranch with the children. About midmorning, one of the women went down to the spring to fetch a bucket of water while the other remained in the house with the children.

Suddenly one of the dogs began to bark ferociously. The woman inside the house heard a terrifying scream. Looking out the window, she saw a huge, reddish-hued beast run by with a devilish-looking creature strapped on its back.

The frightened woman barricaded herself in the house and waited anxiously for the men to return. That night they found the body of the other woman, trampled to death. Next day tracks were found, cloven hoof prints much larger than those of a horse, along with long strands of reddish hair.

A few days later, a party of prospectors near Clifton were awakened by the sound of thundering hoofs and ear-piercing screams. Their tent collapsed, and the men clawed their way out of the tangle just in time to see a gigantic creature run off in the moonlight. The next day, they too, found huge clovenhoof prints and long, red strands of hair clinging to the brush.

Naturally these stories grew and were embellished by local raconteurs. One man claimed he saw the beast kill and eat a grizzly bear. Another insisted he had chased the Red Ghost, only to have it disappear before his eyes.

A few months after the incident with the miners, Cyrus Hamblin, a rancher on the Salt River, rode up on the animal while rounding up cows. Hamblin recognized the beast as a camel, with something tied to its back that resembled the skeleton of a man. Although Hamblin had a reputation as an honest man and one not given to tall tales, many refused to believe his story. Several weeks later, over on the Verde River, the camel was spotted again, this time by another group of prospectors. They, too, saw something attached to the animal’s back. Grabbing their weapons they fired at the camel but missed. The animal bolted and ran, causing a piece of the strange object to fall to the ground. What the miners saw made the hair bristle on their necks. On the ground lay a human skull with some parts of flesh and hair still attached.

“원주민들도 빨갱이다!!”

A few days later, the Red Ghost struck again. This time the victims’ were teamsters camped beside a lonely road. They said they were awakened in the middle of the night by a loud scream. According to the terrified drivers, a creature at least 30-feet-tall knocked over two freight wagons and generally raised hell with the camp. The men ran for their lives and hid in the brush. Returning the next day, they found cloven-hoof prints and red strands of hair.

About a year later, a cowboy near Phoenix came upon the Red Ghost eating grass in a corral. Traditionally, cowboys have been unable to resist the temptation to rope anything that wears hair, and this fellow was no exception. He built a fast loop in his rope and tossed it over the camel’s head. Suddenly the angry beast turned and charged. The cowboy’s horse tried to dodge, but to no avail. Horse and rider went down, and as the camel galloped off in a cloud of dust, the astonished cowboy recognized the skeletal remains of a man lashed to its back.

미국 바보들의 ‘괴담 창작’

During the next few years, stories of the Red Ghost grew to legendary proportions. The creature made its last appearance nine years later in eastern Arizona. A rancher awoke one morning and saw the huge animal casually grazing in his garden. He drew a careful bead with his trusty Winchester and dropped the beast with one shot. An examination of the corpse convinced all that this was indeed the fabled Red Ghost. The animal’s back was heavily scarred from rawhide strips that had been used to tie down the body of a man. Some of the leather strands had cut into the camel’s flesh. But how the human body came to be attached to the back of the camel remains a cruel mystery.

관리자  freemediaf@gmail.com

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