1700's - A Baby's Adventure
In the year 1819,died in the town of Greene, Me., an old man named Thomas, who had a thrilling wolf-story of his own to tell, though the experience was too early for his memory, he being at the time a baby in arms. Mr. George J. Varney relates the adventure in the Lewiston Journal. Mrs. Thomas was a fisherman's wife who lived in the town of Brunswick, Me., where Bowdoin College now stands. At one time when her husband was in port, but could not come home, she started on foot to Harpswell, a distance of ten miles, to see him, carrying her youngest child in her arms. Returning, with a load of fish on her back as well as the burden of her babe, she heard a wolf howl in the forest, and terror quickened her pace, though she was already fain to sink with fatigue.
She was midway of the five miles of unbroken woods when the howl of the wolf again smote her ear, and this time other voices, one after another, joined in. The pack had gathered on her trail!
She must climb a tree, one would say; but she did not. She did not even throw away her fish.
The wolves gained upon her moment by moment, the great gray wolves of the North, that stand as high as a man when they rear. It was a mile and a half to the nearest house when she first caught a glimpse of the approaching demons.
She had for the last two miles walked at her utmost speed; it was now time to run. Yet she still held firmly her babe and her fish.
A quarter of a mile more, and swiftly as she had passed it, the wolves were within a few yards. She could see their white teeth and hear their laboring breath above her own. She loosened and threw down a single fish, and ran on. The pack discovered the rare game, and fought together for its possession.
By the time it was eaten the courageous woman had got a quarter of a mile in advance; but the pack was soon at her heels again. Another fish checked them, and their snarls and yells, as they again fought each other for a bite of the savory fresh codfish, hurried the laborious flight of the weary woman.
Her babe, annoyed by the shaking it received from the rapid pace, at length cried lustily, calling the wolves to renewed pursuit. In vain, the poor mother tired to sooth her infant, but another fish was followed by a fresh fight and precious delay of the pack.
Again and again this action was repeated, until at length the barking of two huge dogs alarmed the wolves, while the almost exhausted mother ran past the friendly brutes to the door of the farmhouse, thrown open to receive her. The great dogs were trained to their duty, and no sooner was the fugitive in the house than they also retired in good order to the same safe stronghold, leaving the foiled wolves to rage outside, and to fall before the guns that were speedily brought to bear upon them.
The weary mother found safety and rest, but whether she saved any of her fish tradition does not relate.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
August 9, 1879
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