Enterprise Stories-The Lion and The Rope
This story was taken from the book, “100 Years of Enterprise Folklore,” complied by LaRue Dannelly’s English classes to commemorate the 100th birthday of Enterprise in 1996.
The Lion and The Rope
By Garrik Jones
In the early years of the 1920’s, bands of wild mustangs roamed the hills around Enterprise. Where they came from was anyone’s guess, but they were all unbranded, unalarmed animals. Since money was scarce and horses were always in demand, it became an all time sport and a form of recreation for men to go out in the hills and try to catch these wild mustangs. If they were successful, the horses were brought home, broken, and tamed for their personal use. This sport was commonly known as “mustanging.”
One day William Thomas Truman, better known as “Billy,” saw a beautiful wild mustang north of Hebron. He wanted this particular wild horse very much, so in talking to his son, Will, they decided to try their luck in catching it. Getting their gear together, they returned to where Billy had seen the herd of mustangs, but they were no longer there, nor could they find them. However, they did find something that to most people would have been frightening and very uninviting. Among the rocks, they spotted a huge mountain lion.
Billy, a big man and afraid of nothing–plus being an adventurous person, decided to use their ropes to rope the lion. It was not an easy task, but they finally managed to get a rope around its neck. The next big task was to get it into town for people to see. To subdue the big cat, they would squeeze the rope around its neck just enough to cut off its oxygen supply to the point it could not function normally, but not enough to kill the beast. Then periodically, they would let the lion almost fill its lungs before tightening the rope again.
Needing a place to put it in town, Billy built a large, sturdy cage. It had bars close enough together so the lion could not escape, but far enough apart for it to be well seen.
The Truman’s at this time were living on the corner close to the school, where Ross and Sherilyn Farnsworth now live. People old and young from all over town came to see the big, wild mountain lion. It was such an excitement around town that after a few days Billy and Will decided to load it in their wagon and take it to St. George for the Dixieites to witness. It caused a big commotion there, also.
Nellie [Nellie Truman Clove] does not remember what became of the lion, but she still remembers her fear and her Mother’s fear that the lion would escape and do someone bodily harm. She also remembers its hissing and growling, as it went around and around its cage, trying to escape.
Photo Sources~ Cover Photo: http://griffinsguide.com/content/2015/11/11/wheres-the-mountain-lion-try-to-find-it-before-it-reveals-itself-video/
Photo in article: http://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/mountain-lion.htm