Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mad Stone Trivia

I was doing some research at the library today and found this statement in the local newspaper, dated March 2, 1883:
Mr. Bob Crouch of (nearby city), passed through here a few days ago on his way to Dallas, in search of a mad stone for his little son who had been bitten by a rabid dog.

Never having heard of a mad stone, I had to research that too and this is what I found out.

A mad stone was a hairball-like object found in the stomach of a deer and the rarer the deer, the better the mad stone. A mad stone from a white deer with pink eyes was the best. When someone has been bitten by a mad dog, they have to go to the person with a mad stone - if the person with the mad stone goes to them, it won't work. A mad stone can't be bought or sold, it's shape can't be changed, and the person owning it can't charge anyone for using it, or it won't work.

Here's how it works. The mad stone is boiled in sweet milk and placed on the bleeding bite. If it sticks, the wound has rabies. When the stone falls off, it is boiled in milk again to remove the rabies from the stone until the milk turns green, and then reapplied to the wound. If it sticks again, there is still rabies in the wound. This is done over and over until the stone doesn't stick at which point there is no more rabies.

Since Hubby is a deer hunter, I figured he had seen these deer mad stones before but when I shared this hairball trivia with him, he said he has never seen one or even heard of them. I have a feeling he will be looking for one now though. Never know when a hunter is going to be stranded far from a hospital after being attacked by a pack of rabid animals. Oh yes, and with a gallon of milk in his bag.

Until next time, may you have blessings and access to modern medicine,

p.s. I also did a search for Bob Crouch in the area and didn't find anything, so I hope Bob found a stone and the procedure was successful.


  1. DH is a hunter too. In fact that is why the pilgrimage to the SSB this weekend (oldest granddaughter's birthday weekend). Probably deer hunters don't know about the mad stone because they really don't want to cut open the stomach. In fact, our bunch has gotten to where they don't even "field dress" anymore. They have it down to being able to dress it out with the body cavity pretty much in tact. I don't know because I don't go out to participate (any more)! Been there, done that, am through.

  2. I have never heard of a mad stone and I am really old and my Daddy was an avid deer hunter and he never talked about one. This "cure" sounds like when I stepped on a rusty nail, I was to soak my foot in a fresh cow patty to draw the infection out? It's a wonder any of us are alive.


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