A LIVELY INCIDENT WHILE TWO MEN WERE FIRE HUNTING
By S. C. Turnbo
M. P. or Mose Ray was a native of the state of Alabama.
In the latter 30s he moved to northwest Arkansas and settled in Washington County, and remained there until in 1842 when he bought a claim at the mouth of East Sugar Loaf Creek in Boone County and during the same fall he and wife moved to it in an ox wagon. There were no wagon roads in that section then and when they arrived at the top of the hill on the west side of the creek and opposite the spring they drove the wagon down the steep hill to their improvement. They lived on this place many years and reared a large family of children. Mr. Ray served as Justice of the Peace a number of years before the outbreak of the war between the north and south. Mr. Ray and his wife are both dead now. The body of the husband is buried in the cemetery at Lead Hill and if I mistake not the mortal remains of his wife lie in the same graveyard. Ray took much interest in hunting as well as improving his farm. His wife and daughters made the wearing apparel. Ray and Jake Nave were often together in a dugout canoe fire hunting for deer and killed many fat ones along the river after night. One night while the two men were floating slowly with the current of water just below the mouth of East Sugar Loaf Creek they noticed the bulk of an animal standing near the edge of the water on the south side which they supposed was a deer. Ray was piloting the canoe and Nave was standing near the bow of it with gun in hand and shot at the object. They had a fine torchlight and both men saw the animal fall at the report of the gun. A few vigorous strokes from the paddle and the canoe was landed. Mr. Nave leaped out of the dugout and ran to where the supposed deer lay, and not noticing the kind of animal it was, leaped astride of it to cut its throat. But when he bent over it the prostrate form rose suddenly on its feet. It proved to be a wolf instead of a deer. It was then a lively rush ensued with Jake Nave to get out of its way. The beast followed him to the canoe and encouraged the hunter to run the faster by snapping at his legs as he ran. Navels rifle being empty he yelled at Ray to give him his which was loaded and at the same time almost he says, "Quick, Ray, for here is the biggest wolf I ever saw." But before the astonished Ray had time to hand him the gun the wolf fell dead. After their excitement had lulled they both enjoyed a hearty laugh over the amusing but surprising incident. The wolf had been feasting and they cut it open and found that it had been devouring a fat shoat and it was supposed that the wolf after eating the bait of pork had come to the river for a drink of water.
Springfield-Greene County Library