Gray Wolf Encounter on Central Missouri Homestead

Six-year-old encounters a gray wolf while walking home alone in the dark from a central Missouri homestead.

| Good Old Days

It happened in central Missouri homestead over a hundred years ago, and my grandfather told the story this way:

"I had heard the grown folks say that they were scared until their hair stood straight up on their head, but I never believed it!

"Late one afternoon, my pa sent me, a boy of about 6, to my uncle's house, a short walk through the woods, to borrow an iron wedge. He said I could play with my cousin until bedtime, which in those days, was very early. I stayed a good while and it was dark when I started home.

"I called my dogs, but they were playing, too, and were slow in coming. When I heard the leaves behind me rustle, I turned to wait for my pet hound. And my heart just sort of stopped. It seemed jammed into my body where it had no business being. The animal was not my hound, but a large gray wolf. The wolf stood motionless, I stood motionless. When the leaves rustled again, I thought I would be faced with a pack of wolves-and me with no weapon but a big iron wedge. But there stood my dogs! The wolf trotted away.

"The rest of the way home I carried the wedge in one hand and my cap in the other. The cap wouldn't stay on my head. My hair kept pushing it off!"

Marjorie Z. Dawson
Leavenworth, Kansas

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