Mountain Lion Encounter Spooked Freight Haulers

Sleeping under the Oklahoma stars, 11-year old boy and man are awakened to the cold reality of a mountain lion encounter.

| Good Old Days

When a freight contractor, working out of Arkansas City, Kansas, could not make a haul himself, he hired a man to accompany his 11-year-old son into Oklahoma with the loaded wagon and mule teams. Little did that father know his son would experience a mountain lion encounter.

Having delivered the freight, the pair was on the return trip. One nightfall found them near a small stream with dense thickets along the banks. About half a mile back, a homesteader had invited them to camp in his yard, but this location by the stream seemed ideal, with water and wild grass for the two teams of mules.

Soon coffee was boiling and the man and boy were eating fried potatoes, bacon, and beans. The mules were staked out and a full moon was rising in the east. All gave promise of a peaceful restful night as the pair bedded down in the empty freight wagon and fell into sound sleep.

The boy never knew what brought him wide awake; perhaps it was the soft thud of a body landing or the frightened squeal of a mule. Sitting bolt upright in bed, the man and boy saw, sitting on the tailgate of the wagon and clearly outlined against the full moon, a huge mountain lion, one of the most feared animals in the territory. Many tales were told of their attacking man and all those tales came flooding back.

The animal sat looking at them a few moments-an eternity to the boy-then jumped from the wagon and sped away.

Quickly, the travelers untied the mules, hitched up the wagon, and drove to the higher, safer ground of the homesteader's yard.

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