The year was 1901 and Jack Kuly lived alone on his homestead farm which was about 120 kilometers east of Edmonton, Alberta. It was July and a combination of sweltering heat and heavy rains had left the prairie swamps as breeding grounds for millions of mosquitoes. Jack needed to stock up on supplies and knew he would have to walk 240 kilometers round trip to Edmonton to get them. In summers of the past the walk was beautiful and enjoyable as the Canadian prairies were usually dry. But this year the walk would be treacherous as Jack would have to do everything in his power to keep his sanity from the mosquitoes. There were certain measures he could take to prevent being bitten by the mosquitoes. The first was he would wear his heavy sheepskin jacket which the mosquitoes would be unable to penetrate, but with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees celsius it would be impossible for Jack to keep his jacket on during the day. He thought that with the extreme heat the little blood suckers would be unable to survive but this was not true. There were not as many mosquitoes during the day, but they were still there and biting ferociously.
The second thing Jack would do to prevent being eaten alive was he would carry a bag of cow manure so that when he needed to he would smear it on his face and body to keep them away. But this would only go so far and work for so long before the mosquitoes would start to attack again. And when the sun would set Jack would have to brace himself for a night of hell as that was when the mosquitoes would come out in full force.
With all of these thoughts going through his head nothing could have prepared him for what he was going to face when he passed through the swampy sloughs of Elk Island National Park.
Up to Elk Island Park Jack's walk had been bad, but it was still bearable. He approached Elk Island Park at night thinking he would rest when he got there, but as he entered the mosquitoes went for blood. Jack had never experienced anything like it. He quickened his pace and started to swat away the blood suckers, but nothing would stop them as they bit through his pants and gloves. The cow manure did nothing to help as they bit his face mercifully. They clung to him and there was nothing he could do. He then dropped to the ground and started to roll, but hundreds if not thousands more came and soon he became tired of rolling on the ground. He could feel his face swelling and his eyes sealing shut from the continuous biting. Finally Jack could no longer breath or swallow and was unable to see from eyes swollen shut. Still the mosquitoes continued to suck blood from his body.
Jack died only hours later. His body left as a warning for humans not to pass through the mosquitoes' territory.