KILLING A SMALL PANTHER ON CURRENT RIVER
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. Robert Morris furnished me the following account while he lived near Jackson Switch on the M.K.&T. Railroad in the Indian Territory. "While we lived on the Alph Dethrage farm on Current River in Shannon County, Mo., and two miles below our old residence at the Round Spring we had a half a dozen fine hogs which were year olds that commenced to break into our field one fall season before we could get our corn gathered and made great havoc of it. There was but three things to do to save the remainder of the corn and that was to kill the hogs or drop all the other necessary work and gather the corn or put the shoats up in a pen and father decided to do the latter until he had more time to gather the corn. So he built a small lot of rails in the mouth of a little hollow just below a small spring of water where the spring branch could run through the pen which saved the labor of carrying them water to drink. One morning soon after daylight when my father went to feed the shoats there were only five of them in the pen. One of them was missing. On investigation fresh blood and the tracks made by a panther was found in the pen, and he soon discovered where it had went over the fence with the hog and made off with it up the hollow. After following the trail a short distance he returned back to the house and taking his rifle he went back where he left off following the trail and followed on until he got in sight of the beast where it had eaten part of the shoat and was covering up the remains of it. Before he could aim with his rifle and shoot it the panther caught sight of him and bounded off and disappeared. We had no dog then and father did not care to follow the beast without one and went to a neighbors house and borrowed his dog and went back and put the dog on the trail of the beast and it soon routed it and chased it until it went up a tree one mile above the Round Spring on Current River where he shot it. The panther was a small one measuring only 7 feet in length."
Springfield-Greene County Library