Thankful November

Thankful November – Wildcats

Collage of 2021 photos

“The mountains were beautiful. Cold, crystal springs cascaded down the slopes. We got our water from one several yards away from the house. Countless trips were made to it everyday. One evening at dusk, Wilma took a bucket and started for water. Unknown to her, the water had attracted something else too. Just above the spring, two golden eyes glared at her, watching every move. A wildcat crouched low to the ground, ready to spring when she came close enough. Wilma could feel the intensity of the gaze before she saw the cat. She froze for a second as the golden eyes narrowed. She dropped the bucket and ran toward the house. She didn’t look back to see if the cat was coming. Her eyes were on the crossties. If she missed one and fell, the cat would be on her in a minute. The door flew open and a white-faced ghost of a child collapsed on the floor. Fred took his rifle and went back to the spring, but the cat was gone. “

—Florence Cope Bush – “Dorie Woman of the Mountains”

Today’s Thankful November is a used copy of “Dorie Woman of the Mountains.” It’s one of my favorite books. To be entered in the giveaway leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends December 1, 2021.

Last night’s video: Mountain Path 15.


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  • Reply
    November 28, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Oh my, how this brought back memories of my sister and I walking home from grandma’s house just as darkness was falling. We were already worried that we would be scolded for staying too late, but what happened next just about scared us to death. As we rounded the gravel road out of the hollow, we heard a loud shrieking sound, that sounded just like a woman screaming. We both looked to see a black panther sitting near the barn, then quickly running as fast as we could to get to our house. My dad grabbed the flashlight and gun and off he went after the cat. Dad and grandpa only found some black hair caught on the barbed wire. What a scary but fascinating experience my sister & I shared that we have never forgotten. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Reply
    Philip D Mundy
    November 28, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Hope it’s not too late to get entered in the drawing for this book, I would really like to read this book, sounds very interesting.
    Really enjoy your posts each morning and hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2021 at 12:51 am

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I’d sure love to read it!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 27, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    I think a lot of big cat sightings and hainted tales were authored by moonshiners who wanted to deter prying eyes from their secret locations. They say a painters cry sounds like a woman screaming. Maybe those horrowing screams were Mrs. Moonshiner or one of the girls. Yodel-ay-hee-hoo!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 27, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Just north of Wiggins Creek is another stream called Painter Branch. Now then the road that follows the stream is called Panther Branch Road. I have never understood the dissimilarity in the naming unless the namer of the road had gone and got hisself edumicated and was attempting to right horrible wrong perpetrated on us oh so many years ago. Personally I believe the wrong is the right. A painter is a dangerous big cat that can rip your heart out with one swipe of it’s razor sharp claws. A Panther is a sissy boy in black tights chasing a funny looking ball of a thing around a big field with numbers and marks painted right on the ground. I’ve never understood a game where you start at zero and work your way up to fifty, the biggest number on the field, then keep going until you are at zero again. But, I am just a country boy.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    That poor girl must have had nightmares about that for years. Bet she didn’t go to the spring alone again.

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    November 27, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    You are giving me great ideas for Christmas presents with these excerpts .

  • Reply
    Patricia A Small
    November 27, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I would love to read this book. My post are always so late I’m not sure if I get included or not. I still like reading the comments. I hope yo’all had a great Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    November 27, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Love the sounds a male wildcat/bobcat makes in the fall when looking for a female. Lets you know there is still a bit of wild in the woods.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Oh my stars, I’d be screaming my fool head off. This sounds like a great book to read. Thank you, Tipper for all your give always and congratulations to all the ones receiving your gratitude giveaways.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    I look forward to reading your posts. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. We’ve really got a lot to be thankful for! I’m thankful for this blog. I’m reminded of some things that I remember from years gone by and I’m also learning some new things.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    There was a time in the not too distant past when there were all sorts of dangers from animals right at our doorsteps. Now when I venture into the woods I can avoid the occasional snake or bear but the wild hogs roam in herds and seem to pose the greatest danger I ever encountered. Those rascals will chase you.

  • Reply
    Mike Hooper
    November 27, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    I am the youngest of 9 children 6 girl’s and 3 boy’s, my brother Clemmie and myself are all that are left. My mom and dad raised 3 of my sister’s out of the 9 I was the 9nly one NOT born in these wonderful mountains, I was born in Salisbury, NC I’m also the 9nly 9ne to move back!! I now live in the metropolis of Clyde, NC retired from the paper mill.
    Dorie is available at Amazon and also on prime for people like me that read on line.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    I would love to win this one Tipper. I want to know the ending and read all if it. I believe this is one if the best. You had my body all squench up in suspense.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Does the Appalachian vocabulary refer to a wildcat as a bobcat/r lynx, or does it refer to a panther/cougar/puma? I’ve encountered the former without their showing any intentions of attacking. They were more interested in finding an escape route. Never encountered the larger cat in the wild.

    My Pa’s oldest sibling, Lee, was born in 1884. His pa, my grandpa, died in 1897 when Lee was barely a teenager but became the ‘man of the house’. He and my grandma tried for a year to run the small farm but it was just too much for a young boy and a woman in her mid 30s with 5 other children, half under 10 years. The 2 girls and grandma went to live with relatives, the 3 younger boys went to the Baptist orphanage, and uncle Lee went to work and lived on his own.

    At the ripe old age of 16 he was hired as a teamster to drive ox wagons from Bryson to Maryville. On one such trip he was returning to Bryson and was so close when evening came that he decided to drive through the night instead of making camp. Some time during that night a panther got on the ridge above him and the animals. He said he walked and swung and cracked his whip with every other step. He made it through Nantahala without being attacked, but he said his arm was sore for a month. He said he heard that panther howl in his nightmares for the rest of his life.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Wow! I can’t stand it. I want to know “The rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey use to say. As an ex-librarian and a lover of books, I NEED to read this book.

  • Reply
    Sandra Henderson
    November 27, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Oh boy….you’re making me order all kinds of wonderful books! Lol like I need more…but, I can’t help myself! I read medicine men in an afternoon, I couldn’t put it down! Thanks for all the book commendations. I’ll wait to order this one, maybe I’ll win!

    • Reply
      Sandra Henderson
      November 27, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      I have a question, tipper. I want the dictionary of smoky mountain English for Christmas. I see there is a new one now, that is more encompassing of other states. I want the first edition.
      Is the first edition basically, in its entirety in the e
      Second edition? Plus extra content? I don’t want to miss out on n.c. and first edition. Any suggestions? Thank you. It’s kind of an investment, wanted your opinion. I’d love to have both one day. Hard to find!

      • Reply
        December 5, 2021 at 3:13 pm

        Sandra-I’m not sure. The two editions overlap a lot, but are not exactly alike. I’m sorry that probably doesn’t help much 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna Brewton
    November 27, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Not in either of my two libraries I frequent. So if I don’t win this book I’m going to find it and buy it as a gift to me from me with love.

  • Reply
    Jenny Young
    November 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    I want to read more! I love finding out about all of these books you’ve been sharing. I’d love to see more books to add to my reading list.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Ooo! What a close call! I’d love to read more.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 11:38 am

    I want to read more! This sounds like a wonderful book to read. Thank you for this sample.

  • Reply
    Greg Church
    November 27, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I never have seen a painter and don’t want to of a sudden.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Seeing more bears during the summer these past few years which causes me to keep one eye on the woods as I mow the field behind the house – I look for cats too.

    The only thing I’ve been hunted by is a pack of dogs when I was a kid. Me and my trusty pony managed to stay ahead of them and made it home; a couple of warning shots scared them away for good.

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    November 27, 2021 at 10:33 am

    I wonder if any of these books are available on kindle, would love to read some of them but can’t afford to purchase them, everything I have found on Amazon is really expensive?

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    November 27, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Wowww. What visuals. I wonder what critters we’ve shared paths and crystal springs with … and not even know’d they were near?

  • Reply
    Lily M Stafford
    November 27, 2021 at 10:06 am

    I have heard these stories, when I was a young child. Daddy would tell us a about the time he was walking home one night and a “Painter” caught his scent , he caught up with some cows , and ( Daddy was saved, was his story!!!!!)

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    November 27, 2021 at 10:04 am

    In Wise Co. VA. , we grew up with the tale of the little girl that was chased by a wildcat , also told as a painther. She had gone to a neighbor’s house for a share of fresh meat , and was on her way home with a big pan of it. That big cat smelled it and started after her. She threw down one piece of meat at a time, hoping the cat would stop chasing her a minute to eat it….and it did . She made it home and was out of breath from the running , and she still had enough meat to cook for supper. As a storyteller, I have told this story all over the country….and have found many variants …. A favorite one involves a girl racing away from a Florida painther and surviving by throwing down first her sweaty coat, then her scarf, then her hat ,then… .well yall get the picture. She made it home to tell the tale !

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Today is my birthday and I started it by watching the YouTube video with your daughters take a vocabulary test. You told them they needed to read “The Blind Pig and the Acorn” so, thinking it was a book I Googled it. I was so excited to find your page. We watch your YouTube channel on our Roku so we just see videos with no extra content. If you’ve mentioned your webpage before I just missed it. I really enjoy your content. I hope the girls did a good job cleaning the garden and planting your turnips.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    November 27, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Would love to read this book! Thank you for sharing. Take care and God bless.

  • Reply
    Lori Hughes
    November 27, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I can just imagine how scared she must have been. I’d love to read that book. I probably won’t have much luck finding it here in Nova Scotia but I’m going to try! Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 9:23 am

    The girl next door was working from home during the pandemic when she saw a huge wildcat pass by her window. She was able to snap several pictures and sent them to me. A few months later, I was walking some visitors to their car when we all saw a wildcat stroll across my driveway and into the cornfield. One of the most elusive animals in the wild is showing his face quiet often around here. I felt like running to the safety of my back porch just like Wilma did.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 9:12 am


  • Reply
    Matt Laminack
    November 27, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Chirrl Whatley
    November 27, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Blessings to you and yours. As a small child my little brother and I went to an old falling down house place behind our home about a1/2 a mile into the woods low and behold a bobcat or maybe a lynx which is larger down here in Louisiana was jumping from one exposed rafter to another. I grabbed my little brother by the hand and we ran full speed back home Hadn’t thought about that in years Would LOVE to read that book! Love everything the Pressley’s post Keep up the good work

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 27, 2021 at 8:37 am

    In all my years in the woods I never saw but 4 wildcats. Of those, 3 were at the same time, a mommy and two kits. The other one was crossing a road deep in the mountains. Those two sightings were at nearly the same place though widely apart in time. Unless moving, they are nearly invisible. It is quite possible, even likely, I was seen by many more than I saw.

  • Reply
    Diane Kelbaugh
    November 27, 2021 at 8:33 am

    This sounds like a great book! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Hope you had wonderful Thanksgiving with your lovely, talented family.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    November 27, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Run, girl, run! You mess with daddy’s little daughter and “ BLAM” kitty cat- you’re gone! I feel exactly the same way as Dorie’s papa about a critter who’s stalking one of my babies! I had a man tell me he walked to work and one night he could hear and see a puma stalking him. After several nights of this action, he decided not to walk anymore. The pass where the puma lives to this day is rocky and the puma was up high above the rocks with a wonderful view of “dinner” below!!! BTW, my cats had to get active in the middle of the night, so tonight cold or not, they’re going oustside. Mercy and a cat do not in any way connect…. lol

  • Reply
    Garland Gray Davis
    November 27, 2021 at 8:19 am

    I remember as a young boy, my grandmother scaring me with tales of “Black Painters. I pictured a black man in white painter’s clothes stalking little boys who misbehaved.

    Tipper, I already have the book, so disregard me.

  • Reply
    Debbie Tou
    November 27, 2021 at 8:11 am

    As a small child I remember my dad carrying buckets of water from the spring in the edge of the woods. It was used for drinking and cooking. Water for washing dishes and clothes was carried from the small fast running creek below our house then heated atop the wood-fired kitchen stove. We thought we were in high clover when we got cold water piped into the kitchen. (There’s an expression for you, Tipper!). But it was several years later that we got an electric water heater. Now that was indeed the lap of luxury!
    I’d love to have the “Dorie Woman of the Mountains” book.

    • Reply
      Debbie Roy
      November 27, 2021 at 8:13 am

      Oops! Should be Debbie Roy.

  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    November 27, 2021 at 8:05 am

    This story reminds me of a time just a few years ago, when I was deer huntin here in South Carolina. We had never seen a bear around here in our neck of the woods before but one showed up on my brothers deer camera at one of our tree stands in the corn pile. And just prior to this several folks in the community had reported sightings of some kind of big cats ( Panther, Cougar ?) with fairly long tails over in this same area where we hunted. Before this I’d never had any fear of being out in the woods day or night, but a couple times walking in to the deer stand and or coming out from the stand I felt the presence of something watching me but never had an encounter with either, needless to say while walking to and fro from the stand I had a pistol on my side and my rifle in my hands and both loaded to the gills. Lol Might have just been in my mind but it definitely was some eerie feelings, and I felt like running a few times but didn’t think that would have been to wise of a move but rather just stayed calm and proceeded on quietly.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    November 27, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Scary for sure! Even though we live in the country just 3 miles from town, the woods around here are thick enough with lots of hollars and ridges that a mountain lion could live here and not be noticed. This area is thick with deer and wild turkey along with smaller game such as squirrels. We mushroom hunt when it’s the season and always take protection when we go. There have been mountain lion tracks found and pictures taken within 20 miles of where we live, so having one back here wandering around is a real possibility.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Here in East Tennessee we call a wildcat a “painter”. We even have a recreational area called Paint Creek. I’ve hiked and picnicked there, but thankfully never had to run!

  • Reply
    Shannan Catalano
    November 27, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Happy last Saturday in November!

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    November 27, 2021 at 7:51 am

    This passage just makes you want to read the whole book. Hoping everyone has a good day. Thanks, Tipper for the read and the chance to win a copy of this book.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    November 27, 2021 at 7:46 am

    The author has a way with description for I was running away from the big cat too.

  • Reply
    Maggie Dent
    November 27, 2021 at 7:40 am

    This book almost sounds as thrilling as Mountain Path.
    Its filled with colorful language that ignites the scenes perfectly in our minds eye.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 7:39 am

    This sounds like a great book. I can’t imagine the feeling of facing a wildcat. Thanks Tipper for all the wonderful stories and post. You have a beautiful family and I appreciate you sharing it with us especially the recipes on YouTube. Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    November 27, 2021 at 7:03 am

    Run Wilma Run ‍♀️

    • Reply
      Donna Brewton
      November 27, 2021 at 12:02 pm

      You betcha !!!! RUN……..

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    November 27, 2021 at 6:41 am

    A scary time for a child. As an adult I found myself outside with a panther, terrified me. I can’t imagine how scared she must have been

  • Reply
    Kimberly Moore
    November 27, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Dorie sounds like my kind of hero. Hope all had a thankful thanksgiving with friend and family

  • Reply
    Wandena Swartz
    November 27, 2021 at 6:16 am

    Love these excerpts from this book. I tried to find a local library that had it but no luck since I live in the Detroit metro area. I grew up in rural N C and would love to move back but that isn’t God’s plan for me.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      November 27, 2021 at 9:32 am

      Dorie is available at Amazon in paperback for $25. Even I can afford that! If you can’t I will buy the book for you. Just give me a “ship to” address.

  • Reply
    J. David Chrisman
    November 27, 2021 at 6:10 am

    This brings back a memory of my Pa telling me of a time he encountered a Wildcat in the barn one winter. It was in the rafters and he ran home the same way as he was unarmed when he saw it.

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