THREATENED BY A PANTHER AFTER NIGHT
By S. C. Turnbo
One of the earliest residents on Long Creek in Carroll County was Henry Tabor, but finally he moved down the creek toward White River and settled on the creek two miles above its mouth in what is now Stone County, Mo. It was in 1833 when he first located on Long Creek and it was two years later when he settled in Stone County. "One day when we lived at this last place and when I was 11 years old." said John Tabor, his son, "my father sent me to mill on horseback. It was a long way to mill and night overtook me long before I got back home. The weather was warm and pleasant with bright moonlight. I had a good dog with me that I put a great deal of trust in. I had gone several miles after nightfall without being interrupted until I was passing by a field, when I received the worst scare of my life by seeing a panther on the inside of the fence leaping toward me. When it reached the fence which was only a few feet from the trail that I was following the panther rose on its hind feet and put its forefeet on the top rail and jumped up on the fence and sprang off to the ground alighting at my horses feet. I had a keen switch in my hand and when the ugly beast hit the ground I struck the horse a keen blow with it and he plunged forward. As he did so the panther leaped the second time in the wake of the horse and almost touched the horses heels. The horse was scared as well as myself and using the switch on him increased his movements more rapid. The dog was not idle and before the panther had time to spring at my horse the third time the dog interfered by darting at the daring beast and it bounded away and the dog chased it a short distance and came back. In the meantime I was hitting my horse with the keen switch with all my might and getting away from there as fast as my horse would take me. It turned out that a dead cow lay over in the field and the panther was at the carcass when I came along and left the carcass to attack me when the dog attacked it and drove it away."
Springfield-Greene County Library