A long time ago, back deep in the piney woods where the Neuse River empties into the Pamlico sound, there was an old shack where an old woman lived with her son. The old woman was blind, and she depended upon her son for everything. The two of them made their living gathering what they could from the waters. Every day, the son would go out and throw his nets into the briny river water to pull up fish and shrimp and crabs. He would pull clams from the mud. He would gather berries from the woods and snare rabbits in his traps. This way they kept themselves fed and happy.
The old woman hardly ever walked much further than the front door of their shack. She guided herself around with a long old stick which she would tap on the ground. And whenever she needed anything, she would say in her soft, creaky voice "Where are you my son?"
No matter how softly she spoke, or how far away the boy was, he would always seem to hear her and come to her side.
If the old woman needed water drawn from the well, she spoke the words "Where are you my son?" and the boy would be there with a bucket in his hand.
If the old woman needed more logs on the fire, she said in her creaky voice "Where are you my son?" and the boy would be there tending the flames.
If the old woman was lonely and wanted her son's hand, she would only have to say "Where are you my son?" and he would be there holding her hand.
But one day after the boy had left to go down to the riverside, the old woman called out and he did not come. It had been raining hard all week, and the water was high and flowing rough and fast. The wind was high and even the waves on the river waters were topped with white caps. When the boy walked down by the riverside, the soft banks gave away under his feet. He fell out into the river. He was drawn into the current and swept out into the sound and he was never seen again.