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Past


1860


Posted 2019-03-14

    (The following item appeared in Wayland’s History of Shenandoah County, and is being reproduced here upon request. The event described occurred about 1860. – Editor)

 

A BEAR AND A BULL

    The writer’s grandfather, Jacob Kagey (1806-1864), who lived on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Jacob M. Kagey, a mile and a half west of Hawkinstown, had two rather notable experiences, in one of which a bear figured the other which a bull proved much more dangerous than a bear.

    One day as he was walking in the “Swamp Pond Field,” which lies towards the long-time residence of Capt. David Tennessee Neff, my grandfather noticed his dog running towards him and manifesting unmistakable signs of fear. Turning, he saw a large black bear only a few rods away, striding awkwardly along, as if going from one mountain to the other across the Valley. The bear went on his way contemptuously unmindful of the presence of man or dog. They were both glad enough to let him proceed unmolested.

    At another time Mr. Kagey found that a small female dog was eating eggs and told one of his hired men to shoot her. The same afternoon he was walking in a meadow near the house, wherein some lately pulled flax was lying in the sun and the rain to bleach and rot. The stems of the flax were allowed to decay so as to be the more easily separated from the textile fiber. A large bull, supposed to be tame and harmless, was tossing the flax with his long sharp horns. Mr. Kagey walked up to him and gave him a vigorous kick, to drive him away. He did not go. Instead, he turned fiercely upon his owner and threw him violently to the ground. Then, retreating a few steps to get a good start, he ran upon the prostrate man and gored him. This procedure was then repeated. In the meantime two men who were at work nearby came running with fence rails and beat the bull with all their might and main. A big dog flew at the bull’s head. But to all this he paid no heed. He was too intent upon his deadly work.

    Just then the little she dog that had by some hook or crook escaped shooting in the morning, sprang up and clinched her sharp teeth in the bull’s flank. She was lifted bodily off the ground and flung about by the motions of a great brute, but she held on. This was too much. The bull gave up his goring and turned away to fight the dogs. One time his horns had straddled the man’s left thigh, another time the right--- so narrowly did the bruised body escape fatal injury.

    There was a killing soon on the Kagey farm, but it was not the little dog that suffered from it.