The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mrs. Mary Tabor, wife of John Tabor, is a daughter of Noah Cooley. Mr. Tabor, her husband is a son of old Johnny Tabor who died a few years ago on the west side of Little North Fork. One day in 1895 Mrs. Tabor informed me of being attacked by an enormous serpent when she was just old enough to crawl, which she learned from her parents who told her that one day when they lived on Turkey Creek near Kirbyville, Mo., she was out in the yard crawling around on the ground when the attention of the family was attracted by a peculiar noise and on looking out at the door in the yard they were almost dumbfounded with fright at seeing an uncommon sized bull snake crawling toward me with its mouth open. The serpent was nearly in reach of me and was uttering a strange noise. My father and mother and my grandfather were all sitting in the house and on seeing the great peril I was in they all run out into the yard to rescue me from the big reptile. Grandfather got to me first and snatched me up and ran back into the house with me in his arms and put me down on the floor. The snake was too large to attack with a stick and grandfather took his gun from the rack and shot the reptile through the head and killed it. After the snake was dead they stretched it by the side of a rail that ten feet in length and the snake was a little longer than the rail was. My parents said that when they discovered me I was crawling toward the serpent and was jabbering to it. I do not have the faintest recollection of this incident but my father and mother both told me it was true," said Mrs. Tabor.

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