STARTLED BY THE SCREAM OF A PANTHER
By S. C. Turnbo
One morning before daybreak in the month of June, 1857, while we lived on the old farm on the south side of White River in the southeast corner of Taney County, Mo., we were startled from sleep by the cry of a panther in the woodland pasture, the most of which is now in cultivation. The stealthy beast had approached in less than 100 yards of the house. The dogs chased it through the pasture by the stock pond of water and out of the enclosure and on into the river bluff at the Buck Shoals Ford. My father and Uncle Martin Johnson followed the dogs to that part of the bluff opposite the mouth of Little Buck Creek which puts into the river just below Buck Shoals, but by the time the men hag got there the dogs had quit yelping. The men seated themselves on the brink of the bluff to await further development. They did not have long to wait before the same panther or another one screamed in the bluff some 15 yards below them. This was all the development they needed and rising to their feet they made haste to get back home. Though it was dark but logs, trees, limbs, brush and rough stones did not seem to impede their way. On the following morning the tracks of the panther showed that it had attacked a young colt in the pasture and the mare had fought it off. It was supposed that after the hounds had chased it into the bluff, the animal had stopped for a fight and the dogs had refused to accept the challenge and like the two men fled homeward.
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