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Security in the Big Woods

In the Big Woods of Wisconsin, with no neighbors nearby, the Ingalls family relied upon a few things to keep them safe.  Wild animals threatened their safety and security throughout the year.  
How the Ingalls family stayed safe in the Big Woods

The Log Cabin and Log Barn

The sturdy cabin and barn were both made from heavy logs.  Even strong animals such as a bear could only scratch at the wooden logs.  Panthers and wolves also threatened the Ingalls family and their livestock on occasion but their sturdy home in the woods kept them safe, especially at night.

The Long Rifle

Pa's gun not only fed the family meat like venison, bear, birds, and small game, it also protected them against wild animals.  It was an absolute necessity for the family since they couldn't remain in the safety of the cabin all day.  When Pa went spent the day walking or riding to a neighbor's home or to town, he kept his trusty rifle with him for protection.

Good Old Jack

The good and faithful bulldog would warn the family of dangerous animals and frighten them away with his barks.  Deer meant no harm to the family, but Jack kept deer from the garden when they would jump the fence to eat.  Deer and other hungry animals could eat the family's garden in a short time, if left unprotected.  If this happened, the Ingalls family would not have enough vegetables stored for winter.  Jack would bark during the night to scare the animals away.

"The garden behind the little house had been growing all summer.  It was so near the house that the deer did not jump the fence and eat the vegetables in the daytime, and at night Jack kept them away.  Sometimes in the morning the were little hoof-prints among the carrots and cabbages.  But Jack's tracks were there, too, and the deer had jumped right out again." ~ Little House in the Big Woods (affiliate link)
Does your family need protection from wild animals?  

~ Annette Whipple
Learn more about the world of Little House in my book The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter GuideIt' full of rich history, deep discussion, and 75 activities so you can live like Laura.
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