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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An American Tale

posted by on March 11 at 16:58 PM

Little Paul John Schalow of El Mirage, Arizona, was minding his own business, celebrating his tenth birthday in the Tonto National Forest, among the cacti and the rocks…


… when he was attacked by a rabid mountain lion.

“It just placed its paw on me, and it bites my head,” Paul told KSAZ-TV Monday. “It scratches my back.

“I just stayed calm. I like animals but I know this one would probably try to kill me.”

Then one of Little Paul’s unflappable uncles pulled out his pistol and shot the rabid mountain lion while it was right next to the kid, baring its fangs.

But the unflappable uncle is a crack shot, a son of the American west, and he killed the rabid mountain lion quite, quite dead.

Then, for reasons nobody entirely understands, one of Little Paul’s unflappable grandfathers “performed an impromptu autopsy on the lion, discovering skunk parts in his stomach.”

Then the family took the mountain lion home, before jackbooted thugs from the Arizona Department of Fish and Wildlife carted it away to test for rabies (yup) and administer shots to Little Paul and his unflappable male relatives.

And that was the day Little Paul became a man.

More here.


RSS icon Comments


Yeah, sure: just sit there and eat up the gun nut's version. If the mountain lion had lived I bet then we'd hear the truth about how it really went down.

Posted by elenchos | March 11, 2008 5:08 PM

@1: While the uncle's and kid's stories might veer from reality a smidge, the fact is that if the cougar did attack the kid (or even get too close to it), regardless of whether it was in AZ or Fremont, it's dead. Wild animals, especially giant far-leaping kitties with large claws, are not something you want losing a fear of humans.

Though the family shooting it, then bringing it home and autopsying it? That's code for "we thought about just skinning it and not telling anyone about what really happened and jus bragging about our bad-ass cougar pelt before cooler heads prevailed."

Posted by Jessica | March 11, 2008 5:18 PM

Ah memories (of the culture, not getting attacked by a giant cat). Reminds me of one of the reasons I left. That top picture is what is considered wilderness in most of the state.

Posted by Mike of Renton | March 11, 2008 5:22 PM

So what is the point?

Is someone trying to opine that the rabid animal should not have been shot?

I guess I'm missing something.

There is no controversy.

'Nuff said.

Posted by Reality Check | March 11, 2008 5:24 PM

Whatever the white man with a gun says, that's what happened. The lion was rabid. Rodney King was resisting. Saddam had WMDs. Stop asking what really happened. You've been told what really happened, so shut up now.

Posted by elenchos | March 11, 2008 5:31 PM

whats with the whole anti bill of rights mood that prevail's in this city

Posted by linus | March 11, 2008 5:33 PM

it picked the easiest prey. doesn't sound "rabid" to me. their story smells bad. lion pounces on the kid but uncle crackshot is standing right there?

i'd like the big kitty to win once in a while.

Posted by max solomon | March 11, 2008 5:36 PM


Posted by monkey | March 11, 2008 5:39 PM

Just one more reason hand guns should be outlawed.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | March 11, 2008 5:43 PM

Why, if I'd-a been there, I probably woulda shoved a hand grenade right down his big-ol' mouth and blown him all to hell and back.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 5:49 PM

Did anyone read the article, where it says the cougar tested rabid? And the trigger-happy uncle wasn't the one making the statement? Because I did, and I wanted to make sure that the beer isn't getting to me.

More importantly:
While I know it's the fast track to a well-deserved death, I really want to squinch the kitty bellies. That's a technical term.

Posted by Jessica | March 11, 2008 5:49 PM

I think being killed by a rabid mountain lion would be a pretty amazing way to die.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | March 11, 2008 6:03 PM

Seriously, though, I had just finished sharpening my broadsword (one hell of a lot of work, I might add), and was taking a break before starting in on the battle axe when I read this, so excuse the initial levity. Both of these people are heroes, and should be treated as such. Well, back to work.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 6:03 PM

So, what's with Fifty-Two-Eighty and elenchos?

Are they the funny ones around here?

Posted by STJA | March 11, 2008 6:14 PM

I can haz boee? Kthnxbye!

Posted by Kitty | March 11, 2008 6:18 PM

Perhaps Grandfather is a seer and engages in augury using the entrails of wild cats?

Posted by kinaidos | March 11, 2008 6:20 PM

Mountain lions are actually pretty aggressive, for wild cats. My better half's mother had to fire a round off over its head after one had tracked her from the bushes on the side of the road when on a walk in Eastern WA a few years ago.

There was on on Vancouver Island I thought that had been responsible for a handful of attacks as well.

I don't have a point.

Posted by Dougsf | March 11, 2008 6:20 PM

Long story, STJA. Suffice it to say that neither of us are what I'd exactly call comedians.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 6:33 PM

And oh, that part about sharpening the broadsword and the battle axe - that was for real.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 6:38 PM

And that was the day Little Paul became a man. A rabid man.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 11, 2008 6:49 PM


Posted by madDog | March 11, 2008 6:57 PM

Not to be confused with a rabbit man. I've known a few of them.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 6:57 PM

I'm not into furries.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 11, 2008 7:09 PM

elenchos, trolling doesnt suit you.

especially when the cat was rabid. rabid animals need death like i need cold beer and hot pizza. even if they shot the animal for sport and it didnt attack them (which all reports and evidence refute), they did a service by killing a rabid animal.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 11, 2008 7:10 PM

Right on, BA, or as a gun person would say, +1.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 7:15 PM

I love you, Nappy. BA's right, you two should have the next Freaky Friday.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 7:19 PM

If you've got a sharp knife, all you need to do is carry home the head for testing.

Save yourself the lower-lumbar stress.

Posted by Colton | March 11, 2008 7:45 PM

FRom what I read, they were out there buzzing around on ATVs. I have a hard time believing that a mountain lion wanted anything to do with them. I'm betting they shot it for fun, then concocted the story about it messing with the kid.

Posted by Phillie | March 11, 2008 7:48 PM

Of course the kid was calm, he's a genius by birth but a slacker by choice!

Posted by happy renter | March 11, 2008 8:04 PM

@ Colton: OMG, a sharp knife!!! Oh, no, a civilized society would never tolerate that!

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 8:58 PM

i'm proud of usa. my wife come from china. we met on a free dating site named for young man and woman all over the world.

Posted by shine | March 11, 2008 9:39 PM

Porno spamster strikes again.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 11, 2008 9:59 PM

The sharp dust blowing down from the crumbling rocks of Tonto peak, burned Paul's eyes as he looked out along sagebrush pierced by cactus here and there, thick-skinned sentinels over a desolate stretch of mostly rock and gravel.

Posted by Annie Proulx | March 11, 2008 10:22 PM
Posted by gillsans | March 11, 2008 11:27 PM

Ok, run this past me once more slowly... leaving out the specifics of this story...

Mountain lion attacks human, gets killed, the humans are Bad Evil Monsters.

Pit Bull attacks human, gets killed, the pit bulls are Bad Evil Monsters.

Anyone else notice just a wee little bit of hypocrisy in those two positions?

Posted by Geneva | March 12, 2008 5:46 AM

#12 - for a cancer laden old man full of peyote who had gone to mountain to wonder if it is worth it, yes.

A child at the beginning of life, no.

Silly punk.

Posted by John | March 12, 2008 6:08 AM

Well - I like it when the city dwellers all have their versions of the wild kingdom, written with ample food, heat, money in the wallet, and surrounded by concrete and total security.

Been in those deserts and danger lurks all over the place, wild animals are just one. Even the sun.

Faced a rabid badger once, what a scare, very lucky to have had a solid, sharpened heavy old fashioned shovel in my hands.... and no fear to swing it.

Posted by earl lee | March 12, 2008 6:20 AM

I'm going to have to take the side of, "It was a good thing they killed the rabid mountain lion."

Posted by Greg | March 12, 2008 8:42 AM

If we cannot have pit bulls, we should definitely have more mountain lions.

Especially on Broadway.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 12, 2008 9:05 AM

there's plenty of cougars down by the airport in the hotel bars, watch yourselves young men.

Posted by bobcat | March 12, 2008 9:12 AM

@39 Having more "Mountain Lion vs. Drag Queen" brawls would definitely make Broadway more exciting...

But everyone knows Drag Queen FTW- Bitch would throw her nappy wig to confuse, then take down the pussy with a fierce 6 inch heel to the lung.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | March 12, 2008 9:45 AM

I love that anyone would even suggest the Uncle was in the wrong somehow. He shot a rabid mountain lion while it was chewing on his nephew's fucking head. I thought my uncles were awesome because they never molested me. Had I only known what was out there...

Posted by Looptid | March 12, 2008 9:07 PM

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