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A hunt on Meadow Mountain and Deep Creek, page 6

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buck though so strong and active had not so much as kicked in the snow.

After we had hung up the venison we again followed the panther's tracks which soon entered a dense laurel swamp. We had travelled but a short distance in the laurel when my dog showing signs of the presence of game we let him off and in two or three minutes we heard him in full cry. We ran to him and there found the panther standing on the limb of a pine tree, but high enough to be out of the reach of the dog. When we came near he crouched down, wagged his tail, and prepared for a jump at us, his eyes flashing with fury. I took care to keep at a safe distance and taking good aim I sent a ball whizzing through his brains which put an end to a wild and furious monster. Being faint and hungry we skinned the panther in as little time as possible and set out for home having six or eight miles to travel.

We trudged along together until we came to the road that led to our home. There was a near way across a steep hill which Hugh said he was too weak to climb and he would follow the road. So we separated; and I crossed the hill and got home before him where I found old Uncle Spurgin who had come to see us with the intention of hunting a day or two. He had killed an opossum which Mary (my wife) having heard me say that I would not eat them, and being bent on having some fun had cooked knowing that we would be home that day as it was Saturday.

When I came in I told her that I was almost starved. She replied that she had my dinner waiting for me, and setting it on the table I commenced eating without asking any questions till I was nearly done when I enquired what it was I was eating. Mary replied that it was a duck which Uncle Spurgin had shot on the pond. So I continued eating until one of my little daughters came to me with the tail of the opposum, saying, "Father, here is the duck's tail".

Mary was greatly amused with the trick she had played off on me, and begged me to let her fix Hugh in the same way. I promised to keep dark and let her carry out her fun with him also. Presently in came Hugh tired enough, and as his dinner was waiting on the table for him without loss of time he went at it; but coming to the neckbone he said, "Polly what is this?"

"It is a duck which Uncle Spurgin killed on the pond."

"Well," said Hugh, "it has a big neck bone."

Then the little girl showed him the tail but notwithstanding Hugh would not stop until he had finished the last piece of the opossum. That was the first and last piece of opossum I ever ate; and were it not for my prejudice against his rat-looking ears and tail I could find no fault with the taste of his flesh.


Meshach Browning


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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