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Lobo, Rag and Vixen Being The Personal Histories Of Lobo, Redruff, Raggylug & Vixen   By: (1860-1946)

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First Page:

[Illustration: LOBO, RAG, AND VIXEN]

LOBO, RAG, AND VIXEN

AND PICTURES

BY

ERNEST SETON THOMPSON

AUTHOR OF "WILD ANIMALS I HAVE KNOWN," "ART ANATOMY OF ANIMALS," ETC.

BEING THE PERSONAL HISTORIES OF

LOBO REDRUFF RAGGYLUG & VIXEN

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1908

NOTE TO THE READER

These Stories, selected from those published in "Wild Animals I Have Known," are true histories of the animals described, and are intended to show how their lives are lived.

Though the lower animals have no language in the full sense as we understand it, they have a system of sounds, signs, touches, tastes, and smells that answers the purpose of language, and I merely translate this, when necessary, into English.

ERNEST SETON THOMPSON

144 Fifth Avenue, New York May 7, 1899

ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING PAGE

LOBO AND BLANCA . . . . . . 18 REDRUFF SAVING RUNTIE . . . 60 MAMMY! MAMMY! . . . . . . . 78 THEY TUSSLED AND FOUGHT . . 126

LOBO

THE KING OF CURRUMPAW

I

Currumpaw is a vast cattle range in northern New Mexico. It is a land of rich pastures and teeming flocks and herds, a land of rolling mesas and precious running waters that at length unite in the Currumpaw River, from which the whole region is named. And the king whose despotic power was felt over its entire extent was an old gray wolf.

Old Lobo, or the king, as the Mexicans called him, was the gigantic leader of a remarkable pack of gray wolves, that had ravaged the Currumpaw Valley for a number of years. All the shepherds and ranchmen knew him well, and, wherever he appeared with his trusty band, terror reigned supreme among the cattle, and wrath and despair among their owners. Old Lobo was a giant among wolves, and was cunning and strong in proportion to his size. His voice at night was well known and easily distinguished from that of any of his fellows. An ordinary wolf might howl half the night about the herdsman's bivouac without attracting more than a passing notice, but when the deep roar of the old king came booming down the caƱon, the watcher bestirred himself and prepared to learn in the morning that fresh and serious inroads had been made among the herds.

Old Lobo's band was but a small one. This I never quite understood, for usually, when a wolf rises to the position and power that he had, he attracts a numerous following. It may be that he had as many as he desired, or perhaps his ferocious temper prevented the increase of his pack. Certain is it that Lobo had only five followers during the latter part of his reign. Each of these, however, was a wolf of renown, most of them were above the ordinary size, one in particular, the second in command, was a veritable giant, but even he was far below the leader in size and prowess. Several of the band, besides the two leaders, were especially noted. One of those was a beautiful white wolf, that the Mexicans called Blanca; this was supposed to be a female, possibly Lobo's mate. Another was a yellow wolf of remarkable swiftness, which, according to current stories, had, on several occasions, captured an antelope for the pack.

It will be seen, then, that these wolves were thoroughly well known to the cowboys and shepherds. They were frequently seen and oftener heard, and their lives were intimately associated with those of the cattlemen, who would so gladly have destroyed them. There was not a stockman on the Currumpaw who would not readily have given the value of many steers for the scalp of any one of Lobo's band, but they seemed to possess charmed lives, and defied all manner of devices to kill them. They scorned all hunters, derided all poisons, and continued, for at least five years, to exact their tribute from the Currumpaw ranchers to the extent, many said, of a cow each day. According to this estimate, therefore, the band had killed more than two thousand of the finest stock, for, as was only too well known, they selected the best in every instance... Continue reading book >>




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