Many people have lost an arm or a foot, but the story of how I lost my left foot is most unusual.

Many years ago when I was a teenager, I was exploring the woods around Rome, Georgia, with some of my friends. At the top of a hill, was a twenty-foot-deep, rock- lined funnel with a small opening at the bottom of it. The opening was the mouth of a cave.   The four of us decided to explore the cave.  We went back to our houses and picked up some equipment. We each had a flashlight. My friend Jerry had fifty feet of rope and Bruce had some candles and a lighter.

We entered the cave. As we trekked  through the cave, it kept going downward. We traveled deeper into the cave for nearly an hour before it branched off in three drections. Jerry and Bob went down the steepest slope with the rope. Bruce took the left passage, and I explored the right side. Before long, I came to a flat surface. Water dripped from the cave ceiling and the floor was covered with mud. I stepped forward with my right foot. The mud was so sticky that I had to tug very hard to free my foot. I fell backward and broke my flashlight. It was pitch black dark. I couldn’t see a thing and began to yell  for help. That was when I heard something moving toward me from the depths of the cave!

I was filled with fear. I knew that if I cried out that something was after me that my friends would think I was trying to fool them. I hollered that I had fallen and hurt myself. Shouts echoed through the cave that they were coming. But a sloshing sound was coming toward me at a fast rate. Suddenly, something clamped down on my left foot! There was a tremendous pressure and I was pulled off the ground and dropped. I felt a wrenching pain in my ankle and something wet and warm. When a light was shone on me, I saw that my left foot was gone and blood was everywhere. I blacked out. When I regained conciousness, my friends had stopped the bleeding with a belt looped around my leg and twisted around my flashlight. They were carrying me out of the cave.

I blacked out again and woke up in the hospital. My friend Jerry led a team of sheriff deputies into the cave where I was attacked. They found my dried blood but didn’t see any animal tracks. The county sealed the cave entrance with lumber and tons of cement. Whatever was in that cave was sealed inside. The doctors couldn’t identify the teeth marks of the creature that bit off my leg.

That’s the story that I tell some people when they ask how I lost my leg. Actually, I lost it in a motocycle accident when I was sixteen years old.