FRIGHTENED AT THE GROANS OF A DYING BEAR
By S. C. Turnbo
The following story originated from the hills south of White River below the mouth of Big North Fork and John Churchwell, who lived In that part of Arkansas, is the man that give the account of it. He said that John (Jack) Br ewer lived 15 miles south of White River and was a "mighty powerful hunter." When game was plenty, Mr. Brewer like most all the early settlers of Arkansas plowed his land off of the grass In crop time during one crop season while he would be out in the woods of mornings hunting his plow pony. He killed 81 deer during the crop season with an old muzzle loading rifle and saved all the hides of these deer and bought the necessary supplies with them for the use of himself and family. One day this same hunter went into a cave where there were an old bear and two cubs and seeing the three animals lying on their bed in a huddle he with torch in one hand and his trusty rifle in the other crawled up within a few feet of them and shot the mother bear In the head which resulted in a great noise as she struggled and floundered around while she was dying. The cave was narrow and the hunter being frightened at the racket the dying bear was making "crawfished" out of the cave as fast as he could use his hands and feet. After staying out a short while he crawled into the cave again far enough to hear the dying moans of the bear for she was not dead yet and out he went again backward as fast as he could move. he said the noise was so terrifying that he dare not venture up closer. When he passed out the second time he sit down at the mouth of the cavern and waited two hours before going back in again. This time he found her dead. After he got the meat and hide of the old bear home he returned to the cave and captured the little bears and took them home and made a couple of fine pets out of them.
Springfield-Greene County Library