Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
ANOTHER WOLF STORY
"WOLF! Wolf! Wolf!"
Three farmers were walking across a field and looking eagerly for
tracks in the soft ground. One carried a gun, one had a pitchfork, and
the third had an ax.
"Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" they cried, as they met another farmer coming over
"Where? where?" he asked.
"We don't know," was the answer, "but we saw her
 tracks down there by
the brook. It's the same old wolf that has been skulking around here
"She killed three of my lambs last night," said the one whose name was
"She's killed as many as twenty since the winter began," said Thomas
"How do you know that it is only one beast that does all this
mischief?" asked the fourth farmer, whose name was Israel Putnam.
"Because the tracks are always the same," answered David Brown. "They
show that three toes have been lost from the left forefoot."
"She's been caught in a trap some time, I guess," said Putnam.
"Samuel Stark saw her the other morning," said Tanner. "He says she
was a monster; and she was running straight toward the hills with a
little lamb in her mouth. They say she has a family of young wolves
up there; and that is why she kills so many lambs."
"Here are the tracks again," said Putnam.
They could be seen very plainly, for here the ground was quite muddy.
The four men followed them for some distance, and then lost them on
"Let us call the neighbors together and have a grand
 wolf hunt to-morrow," said Putnam. "We must put an end
to this killing of lambs."
All the other men agreed to this, and they parted.
The next day twenty men and boys came together for the grand wolf hunt.
They tracked the beast to the mouth of a cave, far up on the hills.
They shouted and threw stones into the cave. But the wolf was too wise
to show herself. She lay hidden among some rocks, and nothing could
make her stir.
"I will fetch her out," said Israel Putnam.
The opening to the cave was only a narrow hole between two rocks.
Putnam stooped down and looked in. It was very dark there, and he could
not see anything.
Then he tied a rope around his waist and said to his friends, "Take
hold of the other end, boys. When I jerk it, then pull me out as
quickly as you can."
He got down on his hands and knees and crawled
into the cave. He crawled very slowly and carefully.
At last he saw something in the darkness that looked like two balls
of fire. He knew that these were the eyes of the wolf. The wolf gave
a low growl and made ready to meet him.
 Putnam gave the rope a quick jerk and his friends pulled him out in
great haste. They feared that the wolf was upon him; but he wished
only to get his gun.
Soon, with the gun in one hand, he crept back into the cave. The wolf
saw him. She growled so loudly that the men and boys outside were
But Putnam was not afraid. He raised his gun and fired at
the great beast.
When his friends heard the gun they pulled the
rope quickly and drew him out. It was no fun to be pulled over the
sharp stones in that way; but it was better than to be bitten by the wolf.
Putnam loaded his gun again. Then he listened. There was not a sound
inside of the cave. Perhaps the wolf was waiting to spring upon him.
He crept into the cave for the third time. There were no balls of fire
to be seen now. No angry growl was heard. The wolf was dead.
Putnam stayed in the cave so long that his friends began to be alarmed.
After a while, however, he gave the rope a quick jerk. Men and boys
pulled with all their might; and Putnam and the wolf were drawn out
 This happened when Israel Putnam was a young man. When the
Revolutionary War began he was one of the first to hurry to Boston to
help the people defend themselves against the British soldiers. He
became famous as one of the bravest and best of the generals who fought
to make our country free.