All went well
until one night during a thunderstorm that May when Mollie went
into labor. When it became evident that she was having problems,
Dent saddled up to ride to the home of a Mexican goat herder to
get help for his wife.
After explaining the situation, Dent was struck by lighting and
killed. The goat herder and perhaps others rode to the lake, only
to find Mollie dead. She clearly had managed to deliver her baby,
but it was nowhere to be seen. Noting wolf tracks all around the
campsite, the Mexicans concluded a wolf had devoured the newborn.
decade later, the story goes, people began to see a naked girl running
with wolves. Though the boy who reported the first sighting was
not believed, a couple of years later, a Mexican woman said she
had seen two large wolves and a naked girl ripping into the carcass
of a freshly killed goat. As she near the creatures, she said, they
ran off. At first, the girl traveled on her hands and legs, but
eventually got up on her legs to keep up with the fleeing wolves.
Soon, others claimed to have seen the wolf girl. At some point,
no dates go with this part of the story, a group of vaqueros rode
out and managed to capture the wolf girl in a canyon.
The vaqueros took her to a nearby ranch and offered her food, water
and clothing Ė all of which she rejected. Locked in a room, she
howled pitifully. Before long, other wolves answered her calls.
And the howling kept getting closer and closer. Finally, a pack
of wolves closed in on the ranch ownerís corralled livestock. As
the vaqueros shouted and shot to drive off the attacking lobos,
the wolf girl broke out of captivity and disappeared into the night
with the other animals.
The next morning the vaqueros mounted up again in search of the
wolf girl, but their effort proved fruitless. Her last reporting
sighting came in 1852.
of humans raised by wolves go back a long time, all the way to the
classic tale of Romulus and Remus. While that story had its origins
in the days of the Roman Empire, the Indian subcontinent seems to
be the locale for most wolf girl stories.
One source says roughly a hundred wolf child stories have been reported
in English, more in other languages. While the Devilís
River wolf girl legend is not unique from a world-wide perspective,
itís one of Texasí most enduring folk
© Mike Cox
February 5, 2010 column