WOLVES ATTRACTED BY HUMAN BLOOD
By S. C. Turnbo
W. A. Collis, who formerly lived in Baxter County, Ark., told the writer the following account of war times in his neighborhood 5 miles west of the present site of Mountain Home, the now county seat of Baxter. "Wolves were very numerous in Baxter County when we came there in 1861 and there were plenty of them for many years after we went there. As far as I am concerned I never met with but little trouble with them, but I will give you a true story about them, the happening of which occurred in our neighborhood. One night during the great Civil War a party of armed men rode up to where Mr. Tanner Fisk lived a mile from my father John Colliss house and shot him to death in his door yard. Soon after the bushwhackers had left Miss Carrie Allred, a sister of the dead mans wife, came to our house to bring the sad message of the murder of her brother-in-law and asked my father to go and take care of the dead and he did so. The body was found to be almost riddled with bullets, one of which had took effect in the head. The dead mans clothes and body and limbs were red with his own blood. My father carried the dead man into the house and dressed him the best he could under the circumstances. It was now late in the night and my father was compelled to return back to his home that night. In handling the body my fathers clothes were stained with blood, but there was no chance for a change of raiment until he arrived home. Though Baxter County was infested with vicious wolves and other wild beasts, but a man at that time stood in more danger from war parties than attacks from wild animals. He had not taken a gun with him but a small dog named Ring had followed him which was some company to him. Shortly after my father had left Mr. Fisks house for home he was attacked by a bunch of wolves. The night was dark and he could not see only the dim outlines of their forms as they darted around him. The growls and snarls of the beasts sounded dangerous. No doubt they were attracted by the scent of the human blood on his clothes. Father traveled along the road at a lively gait. The little dog was terrified and kept right at his feet. My father was frightened as bad as the dog was and when the wolves would press him too close he would yell, trot and run, stopping every now and then long enough to grab up a stone and throw at the impudent animals. At one time he thought they would take hold of him for they got so near him and the dog that two of the boldest ones lunged at him but he and the dog avoided them and he managed to drive them away. He was now in 100 yards of the house and he had succeeded in keeping the brutes off of him and the dog. Before getting to his yard gate the entire gang left him and they did not molest him anymore that night," said Mr. Collis as he ended his account.
Springfield-Greene County Library