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『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE AGROPELTER
Brachviipotentes crainiofractans


A peevish quadruped, highly resentful of the logger’s intrusion upon his woods home. Common, and well-known from coast to coast but limited to the Northern forests. The beast’s ugly disposition is attributed in part to its diet of Hoot-owls, High-holes, and dozy wood.
As with many of these elusive, nimble creatures, a detailed description is lacking. But it is fully established that the Agropelter (sometimes called the Widow-maker) has a sturdy body topped by a villainous, ape-like countenance. His outstanding equipment is a pair of long, muscular arms. Stealthily reaching out from his lair in the top of a hollow tree, he can snap off a heavy dead limb and either drop or hurl it with deadly accuracy on the pate of the woodsman passing beneath.
He is a marvellously rapid free-climber and traveler, swinging himself, acrobat-fashion, from limb to limb. In picking a home site, he selects a tree having numerous dead branches and a dozy upper bole, and which stands handy to a frequently traveled trail. He quickly eats out a roomy nest. The pups (born on February 29) always arrive in odd numbers


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE AXEHANDLE HOUND
Canis Consumens


The bane of supply and depot camps Northern logging operations. Has a head Shaped like Peavy axe. The body is slender and axe-handle Shaped, with short stumpy legs. Looks a good deal like a dachshund but really bears a closer resemblance to B. B. Bickford’s bureau dog.
Distinctly a nocturnal prowler. Frequents the camps after nlghtfall hunting for axe and peavy handles, of which it is voracious fond. One hound has been known to consume two boxes of DB handles and sixteen six-foot peavy stocks in one night's eating. They make nice pets, but are costly to feed Jim Peters once tamed one. That was short-sighted, because Jim had a wooden leg made from an axe-helve. The only Way he could keep his leg whole was to wear it to bed. But he got rid of the pup by feeding it red oak handles, Which it dislikes as heartily as any experienced chopper.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE BALL-TAILED CAT
Felis candaglobosa


In the early days this feline undoubtedly enjoyed a much wilder circulation than at present. Recent surveys indicate that it is now pretty well confined to Harney County, Oregon, and Sullivan County, Penslyvania. A fairsized animal of about the dimensions of a wildcat but with a far more agressive disposition.
Its chief physical characteristic is a hardy heavy, bony ball on the end of its tail. The feet are clawed as with all true cats, making it an excellent climber; and this species has the stealthy habit of lying out on a limb, and when the unsuspecting lumberjack passes beneath, the Cat drops on its victim and pounds him to death with the ball. In the rutting season the male uses this instrument to call the female by drumming on a hollow log.
This species has occasioned much discussion and peppery argument. It has often been confused with both the Silver Cat and the Dimaul. A careful Study of the equipment and habits of the three species shows plainly that they are, by no means the same. It is quite possible that they are all distantiy related; perhaps the Ball-tailed boy ís a less highly developed variant of the same phylum.


message 5: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:58PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE CACTUS CAT
Felis spinobiblulosus


Once very common in the Southwest, and well-known in the Pueblo and Navajo country. Now practically extinct, living chiefly in the memories of the few remaining old-timers. At one time frequently seen in the great cactus districts, being especialy abundant between Prescott and Tucson. Occasionally reported from Old Mexico.
The cat-like body is covered with thorny hair which grows particularly long, sharp, and rigid on the ears and tail. The latter branched in cactus fashion, these branches having scattered thorny hairs similar to those growing on the ears. The distal portions of the foreleg radial bones are formed into two sharp, knife-like blades which the Cat skillfully employs in making deep, slanting slashes at the bases of the giant cacti. He peforms a number of these operations, always in a circular beat exactly 80 chains long. By the time the Cat has completed the circuit the sap exuding from the cacti first slashed has ferimented into a sweet, intoxicating pulque which is greedily lapped up by the Cat as he makes his second trip. By the time he finishes this round he is pretty soundly pickled, and usually waltzes off into the desert, rasping the bony forelegs across each other as an accompaniment to delighted yowls.
In the earlier days when this animal was more common thirsty Mexicans often trailed him and Would anticipate him in in making the second circuit. This practice became so widespread that it probably hastened the extinction of the species. Occasional cases have been reported where the Cactus Cat overtook the marauding Mexcan and flogged him to death with his spiny tail. Owing to the reddened blebs appearing on the victim’s hide, such deaths were usually attributed by the laity to a severe attack of prickly heat. But the oldtimers knew better. It was the Cat.

THE CACTUS CAT.
(Cactifelinus inebrius.)


How many people have heard of the cactus cat? Thousands of people spend their winters in the great Southwest—the land of desert and mountain, of fruitful valleys, of flat-topped meas, of Pueblos, Navajos, and Apaches, of sunshine, and the ruins of ancient Cliff-dwellers. It is doubtful, however, if one in a hundred of these people ever heard of a cactus cat, to say nothing of seeing one sporting about among the cholla and palo verde. Only the old-timers know of the beast and its queer habits.
The cactus cat, as its name signifies, lives in the great cactus districts, and is particularly abundant between Prescott and Tucson. It has been reported, also, from the valley of the lower Yaqui, in Old Mexico, and the cholla-covered hills of Yucatan. The cactus cat has thorny hair, the thorns being especially long and rigid on its ears. Its tail is branched, and upon the forearms above its front feet are sharp, knifelike blades of bone. With these blades it slashes the base of giant cactus trees, causing the sap to exude. This is done systematically, many trees being slashed in the course of several nights as the cat makes a big circuit. By the time it is back to the place of beginning the sap of the first cactus has fermented into a kind of mescal, sweet and very intoxicating. This is greedily lapped up by the thirsty beast, which soon becomes fiddling drunk, and goes waltzing off in the moonlight, rasping its bony forearms across each other and screaming with delight.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE COLUMBIA RIVER SAND SQUINK
Anguillamvorax coruscens


Of limited distribution, but possessing most unusual characteristics. Reported to date only by prospectors, hunters and sheep-herders in the remote mountains of Washington. Built somewhat on the lines of a coyote, somewhat on the pattern of a bobcat, but with ears like a jack-rabbit. The tail is long and bushy, and is carried recurved along the back the same as a squirrel’s.
A nightly prowler. Emerges after dark and sinks down to the river to fish. The Squink isn't particularly fussy about its diet, but has a great fondness for electric eels. Probably on account of their higher pH content. When hungry it is a timid animal. But its courage returns after feeding, and it will then stalk boldly along the mountain trails until it sights a prospector returning from town. Thereupon the Squink will precede its victim by two or three rods, slowly waving its long tail and touching one ear and then the other. The previous few miles of travel on a heavy feed of electric eels generates a substantial charge of static, and these alternating contacts produce a series of brilliant discharges which invariably please and attract the traveler, who follows and is never seen again.
Several nests of this animal have been located and carefully examined. They were all lined with portions of old inner tubes, while the eggs (for the Squink is oviparous1) were shelled with bakelite2.



1: Meaning egg laying, the mammalian equivlant is called, monotremic.
2: A precurser to modern plastic.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE COME-AT-A-BODY
Quadrupes inprovisus


Reported by Mr. B.B. Bickford of Gorham, N.H. Not found outside the White Mountains. A short, stubby, rather small animal resembling a Woodchuck but having Very soft, velvety, kitten-like, fur. Harmless, but surprising. Has the terrifying habit of suddenly rushing directly at you from the brush, then Stoping only a few inches away and spitting like a cat. A strong mink-like scent is thrown and the Come-at-a-Body rushes away


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE DINGMAUL (THE PLUNKUS)
Saxicatellus vociferens


Well known the White Mountains. In fact, above timber line in the col between Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson of the Presidential Range there is a conspicious, flat-topped boulder which for many years has been “Dingmaul Rock."
Conclusive, exhaustive researches have clealy proven the existence of two distinct varieties—The Northeastern (S.vociferens var. pulsens) Both varieties are cat-like, being long, slim, slick, sorry-looking gentlemen having wolf-like pelts. Their bodies are long, with short, powerful legs. As Irving Cobb has put it, “He's built low to the ground like a carpet-sweeper.” The head is round, sessile, feline, with tufted ears and glowing eyes. Neither variety is harmful, but both possess a curious, inquiring nature. They are fond of lying out in open, sunny spots, (the top of Dingmaul Rock for example), and carefully scrutinizing what goes on in the valley below.
The tall is very long, frequently twice the length of the body; but the California variety caries a medium-sized bony ball on the end thereof. This is used to keep off flies, to pound on dead trees to produce supply of soft silvers for lining the nests, and, in the mating season to beat on the male’s chest to call his mate. The female also wears a ball a shade bigger than the male’s. But she Only uses it to bean him with when he gets too obstreperous.
Ranger Bill Gott once watched one of the California variety galloping along the crest of the Siskiyous, with the ball lashing from side to side and striking the trees with tremendous force “That,” commented Ranger Bill, “is the biggest kindlin’ cat I ever saw.”
The cry of the Eastern species is a dreadful horrendous wail, while the call of the Western variety sharply resembles the toot of a logging donkey. The females of both species invariably whelp on the top of a large, exposed rock.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE DUNGAVENHOOTER 3
Crocodilus hauriens


Formerly quite common from Maine to Michigan. Today only occasionally met with on the Upper Peninsula of the latter state.
A marsh-dweller, dangerous to human beings. Shaped a good deal like an alligator, but curious as to equipment in that he has no mouth. The nostrils are abnormally large, the legs short and the tail thick and powerful. The only cry is a loud snort.
Concealing itself with Satanic cunning behind a whiffle bush, the Dungavenhooter awaits the passing logger. On coming within reach of the dreadful tail, the victim is knocked senseless and then pounded steadily until he becomes entirely gaseous, whereat he is greedily inhaled through the wide nostrils.
Rum-sodden prey is sought with especial eagerness.




3: Not to be confused with the New Brunswicker ghost legend, the “Dungarvon Whooper.”


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE FILLA-MA-LOO BIRD
Fulica stultusregrediens


A curious character, varying widely from the usual run of feathered animals. A bird distinctly low in intellectual curiousity, showing complete and consistent indifference as to where he’s going. He prefers only to see where he’s been; hence he always flies backwards.
A rather rare species, frequently heard of, but seldom seen. Authentic reports are none too common. This is odd, for a turkey-like head on a long bottle-green neck sparsely spangled with large, silvery scales, a black right wing and a pink left one make a color combination hard to miss. The nest is usually built upside down; the eggs (seven to a clutch) are invariably Grade D. The call resembles the clank of a Johnson bar being shoved into reverse.
Variously called the Goofus Bird, the Flu-fly Bird, etc.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE GUMBEROO
Formax rotor


An uncommon, but nevertheless well-known and thoroughly authenticated animal. Paul Bunyan often met them in the Upside Down country. His description, given to me personally, was as follows: “A pot-bellied body, almost exactly like the bunkhouse stove, even to the umbilical damper, and covered with very tight, tough, black, shiny skin; a pair of long, powerful, monkey-like forearms, and a little round head and no neck. His head sets right down on to his shoulders like a hop-toad in a cool spot. He’s got three bowed rear legs, each with a clawed foot clutching an iron ball, the same as an iron stove. There’s no speed in these rear legs, but they’re handy for wading dumps. For real travel he’s got eight pairs of strong, springy legs set around his middle. He’s plenty rapid on these. He’ll go to a hill-top by swinging from branch to branch with his forelegs, then toss himself out a rod or two, landing sideways on the middle legs and rolling over and over down the hill, moving faster than the eye can see. That’s why he’s so rarely observed. The hides from the middle legs used to make fine waterproof boots, but they’re pretty scarce now.”
The Gumberoo was usually found in burnt lands. Practically an indestructible animal. Bullets always bounced from his taut hide, but heat would make him swell and explode. S. W. Allen photographed one, but the negative exploded.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE HIDEBEHIND
Ursus dissimulans


A highly dangerous animal, but, owing to its intense aversion to the odor of alcohol, never known to attack an inebriate. One bottle of Uno beer has been proven to be a complete safeguard even in thickly infested country.
A biggish beast, standing about six feet and walking erect. The slender body makes it possible to hide completely behind the bole of a ten inch tree. The pelt is long thick, and black, and the tail is carried recurved. Looks like a French sheepdog’s. Almost impossible to tell whether the critter is going or coming, and practically hopeless to locate its face—if any. The short, well-muscled forelegs are equipped with grizzly-like claws.
Its food is chiefly intestines. Leaping from its hiding-place with a demonical laugh, it swiftly disembowels its victim with one swipe. Sometimes the fiendish howl frightens the prey to death before the blow falls.
The Hidebehind is never found in the open. He always conceals himself behind a tree trunk. His marvellously quick, stealthy gait makes it possible for him to stay constantly behind his prey, no matter how quickly the suspicious victim may spin about in the hope of glimpsing the marauder. The beast can go seven years without eating.


message 13: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:58PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE HODAG
Deformis corniger lacrimans


Reported in Maine many years past, and in 1895 captured and positively identified near Rhinelander, Wisconsin, by Mr. E. S. Shepard, the Hodag is indubitably one of the best-known of the larger and more dangerous woods varmints. It is now very rare, probably owing to the increased use of lemons in cookery, for Hodags and citrus fruits are in the same ratio as wolves and wolfbane—probably more so.
A distressingly ugly animal. The knobbledy head wears a pair of prominent, bulging eyes and two heavy lateral horns something after the fashion of a male stag-beetle. The claws are stout and powerful, the tail carries a terminal hook, while a row of jagged, stegosaurian dorsal spines complete the picture. The smaller front teeth were formerly often used for umbrella handles.
The Hodag is fully aware of his upsetting appearance, and is given to frequent fits of bitter weeping. I once had a handful of the extremely rare crystallized Hodag tears, but an acquisitive lady friend collected them, believing them to be fine amber. She had them strung into a neck-yoke—and then went and spilled a Tom Collins on herself. Of course the lemon juice dissolved them instantly.
This fellow can’t endure being laughed at. When angry, he is fierce and dangerously aggressive. But a pair of lemons is ample protection against a whole herd.

THE HODAG.
(Nasobatilus hystrivoratus.)


This animal has been variously described by woodsmen from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Opinions differ greatly as to the appearance of the beast, some claiming it to be covered with horns and spines and having a maniacal disposition. The description which seems most authentic and from which the sketch of the animal has been made is as follows: size about that of a rhinoceros and somewhat resembling that animal in general makeup. The creature is slow in motion, deliberate, and, unlike the rhinoceros, very intelligent. Its hairless body is mottled, striped, and checked in a striking manner, suggestive of the origin of the patterns upon Mackinaw clothing, now used in the lumber woods. On the hodag's nose, instead of a horn there is a large spade-shaped bony growth, with peculiar phalanges, extending up in front of the eye, so that he can see only straight up. This probably accounts for the deliberate disposition of the animal, which wanders through the spruce woods looking for suitable food. About the only living creature which the hodag can catch is the porcupine ; indeed, it would appear that the porcupine is its natural food. Upon sighting one rolled up in the branches of a spruce the hodag begins to blink his eyes, lick his chops, and spade around the roots and over goes the tree, knocking the breath out of the porcupine in its fall. The hodag then straddles the fallen tree, front feet crush the helpless porcupine, and then deliberately swallows him head first.
In the autumn the hodag strips the bark off a number of spruce or pine trees and covers himself all over with pitch. He then searches out a patch of hardwood timber where dead leaves lie thick on the ground. Here he rolls about until completely encased in a thick, warm mantle of leaves, in which condition he spends the winter.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE HOOP SNAKE
Serpenscirculousus caudavenenifer


A well-known menace. Its existence is thoroughly established by numerous reports from highly creditable parties. The characteristics appear to be about the same in all regions. Its habit of tucking its tail in its mouth and rolling at incredible speed in pursuit of its prey, or a fancied enemy, is not duplicated fortunately, by any other member of the aninai kingdom.
The tail ends in a stinger carrying venom of such power that a dose of but 0.003 p.p.m. is sufficient to make even the leather-skinned Hodag turn green and swell up and die inside of an hour. No wonder that folks wise in woods lore are wary of this circular engine of destruction. He may travel on just one cylinder but that’s all he needs.
The speed reached in rolling is nothing short of remarkable. A full grown jack-rabbit is pie for this Snake. A mature Snake, when hooped, has a diameter of 1.5923 feet. He has been clocked, after being enticed on to a cleverly designed rolling metered platform at an r.p.m. of about 1056, or a straightaway speed of some 60 m.p.h. The only way to outrur him is to climb Over a fence. The Snake must unhoop to get through.
There are many authentic cases of death from this reptile’s venom; possibly the most convincing bit of data is that, in a fit of pique, a Hoop Snake stung one of Paul Bunyan’s peavy handles. Of course this handle was a sizeable stick to start with, but the venom swelled it to such dimensions that Paul cut it up into 946 cords of wood. And then the dang stuff wouldn’t burn. Just lay in the stove and hissed.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE HUGAG
Reclinor rigidus


The biggest anmal in the Northern forest. When full grown, stands about thirteen feet high and weighs around sixty hundredweight. The snout is warty, and the ears coarse and flopp, like a pair of tired gunnysacks. The head is clean bald and curiously lumpy and bumpy. The best phrenologist in the world would throw in his hand if asked to make a reconnaissance of this party's dome. Instead of hair he wears pine needles; and a steady diet of pine knots makes the pitch ooze constantly from his pores.
The legs lack knee, fetlock, or hock joints so the Hugag can’t lie down. Has to sleep standing. Usually braces its splayed feet and leans again a tree to take a nap. Such sleep-trees are often badly bent, usually remaing so.
He is not dangerous; when aroused he merely bristles up and looks like a heap of pine slash. To catch one, just saw a few of his favorite sleep-trees two-thirds through. If he falls down, he can’t get up any quicker than a greenhorn on skis. The huge animal does little harm save when he leans against buildings. It is Wise to clean them out before erecting camps.
Found around the Lake States, in Western Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and as far north as James Bay. The last One reported killed was up on Turtle River—ayoung one, weighing barely eighteen hundred pounds.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE LUFERLANG
Spinacaerulea tresarticulosus


A dangerous fellow to meet up with. Very likely to attack without any provocation. Bites but once a year, but the bite is sure death.
Certain unique features make it easy, however, to identify the animal. A dark blue stripe down the spine, a bushy, swivel-jointed tail set in the middle of the back (this appendage is most useful in keeping off the flies) and all four legs triple-jointed are what the traveler should look for. These legs make it possible for the Luferlang to run equally fast in all directions. In case of an attack, the victim should suddenly hold a large mirror up beside himself. The double image will so confuse the beast that he will rush off in disgust.
The biting season usually occurs on July 12. An orange-colored handkerchief conspicuously displayed will invariably afford full protection. Green clothing of any shade should be studiously avoided at this season, as it serves to arouse the animal further.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE ROPERITE
Pseudoequus nasiretinaculi


A gregarious animal, about the size of an under-nourished pony. Formerly existed in herds in the Sierra foot—hills, but not reported for many years. Probably extinct by now.
Extremely active and fast. The skin is leathery, giving complete protection against sharp rocks and thorns, while the flipper-like legs are much over-developed affording a half-bounding, half—flying gait. The outstanding peculiarity is the rope-like beak and the marvellous deftness with which it is manipulated. Jack-rabbits are frequentiy run down and lassoed, as is now and then an unwary logger.
There exists a Digger Indian legend that these creatures were the spirits of the old Spanish ranchers of the early days.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE RUMTIFUSEL
Villosus sumptuosus


In luring a victim within its reach, this animal employs one of the oldest strategic devices known—that of playing on the cupidity of its prey. Being a rather slow-gaited beast, it has to resort to some form of low cunning.
The Rumtifusel is large, strong, and ferocious. The pelt is fine, long, and thick with a rich color like a mink. The body is oddly flattened—somewhat the way old Hank McGinnis looked after he’d rolled off the porch roof following the annual firemen’s dinner, and sort of spread himself out so fiat we just slid him edgeways between a couple of shed doors for a cofin. This shape makes it possible for the Rumtifusel to drape himself closely over a stump, or about the butt of a tree standing near a tote-road, in such adroit fashion that he looks exactly like a high-grade fur coat or robe that someone has dropped*. Naturally, the passer-by, comes over to have a closer look. With a lightning-fast flick of its blanket-like body the Rumtifusel completely envelops its victim. The numerous minute, sucking pores lining the inner ventral surface are promptly brought into action, and in no time at all the bones are sucked clean.
Some of these high-ginger scientists will tell you that those little balls of fur you often see beside an old stump were spit up by owls. Don’t you go and swallow that yarn, Those balls are all that’s left of the clothes worn by some greenhorn who ventured too near.

*Can appear weasle-like, and look like a fur scarf


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SANTER
Nadiocties palustris


One of the few marauding varmints reported below the Mason and Dixon line. Common in western North Carolina. Rarely dangerous to mankind, but a frequent predator on livestock.
His body is long, covered with reddish long hair, his head is large, round, and bald. His legs and feet are long, and his eyes are small with a mean look. His tail is almost as long as his body, and has eight hard knots in it. Looks like a string of beads. He can swing this flail with plenty of power and skill—enough to knock out a cow or a hog with one slap. And obviously this tail can be effectively used in combat. But he can travel so fast he seldom has to put up a scrap.
Lives mostly in wooded swamps in the neighborhood of small villages where cattle and hogs are kept. A remarkably fast animal, but rarely seen. Its cry is a piercing, baby-like wail. Dogs will seldom run one.
A calf known to have been killed by one of these varmints near Statesville, showed eight distinct bruises, seven on the body and one on the broken foreleg. The hair about each bruise was severely singed.


message 20: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:45PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SIDE-HILL GOUGER
Membriinequales declivitatis


We’ve had a good bit of perceptibly acrimonious discusion as to the correct vulgate name of this engaging little animal. Some Easterners say “Side-hill Badger,” some Californians insist that “Side-hill Winder” is correct, there are some vigorous proponents of “Godaphro,” “Prock,” and “Side-hill Wowser,” while a few technical parties claim that “Gyascutus” is the one and only. The majority, of the pleadings are in favor of the “Gouger,” so We’ll stand on that.
Always a dweller in hilly county. He has to be, since his nigh legs are shorter than the off pair. There are six to eight pups in a litter, and once in a great while some of them arrive with the relationship reversed. After being weaned, these sports are rarely seen again by their orthodox-legged, brothers and sisters. Normal Gougers must obviously, travel around the hillside, and in making their daily rounds for food they wear the characteristic, partly gouged-out paths so familiar to woodsmen. These paths were once very common in New England, but to-day they are thought to be most frequently seen in the partly forested regions of the West.
I am indebted to Mr. Bill Ericsson of North Haven, Maine, (and various other points) for the following account of how the Gouger population migrated from New England, “It Seems,” said Bill, “that the Gouger population was getting too thick. There warn’t enough food to go around and somebody just had to move out. A pair of these ambitious little varmints, one orthodox, one abnormal-legged, got together and decided to strike out for a new location. Of Course they could navigate on the hillsides and slopes all right; but they knew mighty well they’d bog down, on the flats, so when they struck level going they just leaned against each other with the longer legs outermost, sort of like a pair of of drunks going home from town.” This mighty smart adaptation of a natural deformity took them well across the Central States and made it possible for them to found the Gouger Colonies now existing in the West.
The well-known Chinese ecologist, Dr. He Hop Hi, has piled together much interesting data, on the now extinct Gouger colonies in northwestern Nebraska. There is ample evidence that many years ago the chalk bluffs in this area were populated by numerous such colonies. Careful excavations have revealed successive superposed Gouger civilizations whose arrangement closely resembles those uncovered in the ancient Greek Cities by Drs. Tsountas and Manatt. Following centuries of existence here, these animals became geared to travel solely on the south slopes where food was plentiful. But a great climafic shift took place, with the Virginian element pushing northward and limiting the accustomed food supply to the northern slopes. The Gougers migrated thence, but, while food was plentiful travel was impossible. Fossil remains prove clearly that they rolled to the bottoms of the slopes and starved.

M. decl. var. semihirsutus

This sub-species is found only in the extremely steep hills in West Virginia and to some extent southward in the southern Appalachians. He is similar in most respects to M. declivitatis save that constant brushing of the nigh side against the steep slopes has worn the fur entirely away, leaving the hide so beautifully tanned and polished that it fetches an unbelievably high price for alligator suitcase stock. The off, or downhill side wears a thick thatch of shaggy, curly brown hair much like buffalo pelt Col. Harry S. Knight of Camp Wood, Arizona is authority for the statement that “a Sidehill Gouger is jest a burrowin’ buffalo, sized down and growed crooked.”


M. decl. var. robustissimus

Another variant species, the Yamhill Lunkus, is not uncommon in Oregon. This is a far larger and more powerful animal than either of the foregoing species. It has now and then been domesticated for farm work. Mr. G. C. L. Snyder gives an interesting account of a visit to Ab Eades’ farm on Peavine Ridge where a pair had been broken to draft work, “The Lunki,” says Mr. Snyder, “were the size of a nine months old calf, with a neck about as long as a piece of rope. The sturdy legs were normally arranged, but they could be turned about so the animals could travel just like anything in reverse.”
Mr. Eades was clearing up a piece of land. He had four big owls (Bubo eruditus) trained to carry a rope around the top of a tree to be removed. The Lunki were yoked to this rope, and with one easy heave out would come the tree, roots and all.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SLIVER CAT
Felis glabraspiculata


A nothern pine-woods dweller. Harmless on the ground, but dangerous when up in a tree. A big animal, sometimes reaching three hundred pounds weight. Its ears are tasselled and its eyes red, with horizontal slits. A mature Sliver Cat carries a tail eleven feet long with a hard ball on the end. Half of this ball is polished smooth, half is studded with a burr-like barbed growth. Like the Dingmaul, the Cat beats the ball on his chest in the mating season, being careful to use only the smooth side.
But the chief function (or should it be secondary?) of this tail is to obtain food. Crouched on a limb overhanging the trail, the Cat pats the passer-by on the head with the polished side of his ball, and then slaps the burred side into the senseless victim’s hide and draws him up to the roost to be consumed.
A Sliver Cat crouched on a limb, with his ball-tail poised for instant action, makes a startling silhouette against the full moon.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SNOW SNAKE
Aestatesommus hiemepericulosus


During the year of the Two Winters, when the July temperature dropped to -62°, these pink-eyed, whlte-bodied, savage serpents crossed over from Siberia via Bering Strait. They are bad actors, the venom is deadly, with a speed of action second only to that of the Hood Snake or the Hamadryad.4
Hibernating in summer but becoming active in Winter, the Snow Snake coils on a low drift where its pure white color makes it wholy invisible to its prey. One strike is sufficient. Mankind is not often bitten as he makes too big a mouthful. But sometimes a Snake will get over-ambitious. When this does happen, tanglefoot oil is the only known remedy.
“I Was treed by a Snow Snake” is still a much-used explanation of a late home-coming.



4: The King Cobra.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SPLINTER CAT
Nasusossificatus arbordemolieus


How often do we see big trees that have been snapped off, split, or shattered? Such breakage is frequenuy erroneously attributed to lightning, high winds, or snow and ice. These natural factors do cause some of this damage, but the experienced woodsman knows well that the bulk of it results from the moronic activities of the Splinter Cat.
This powerful feline, harmless to mankind, is found in nearly all the timbered regions of North America. Like many of the cat tribes, he is strictly a night traveler and hence is rarely observed. But he’s often heard, and the abundance of his work is ample evidence of his existence, numbers and activity.
A heavy, chunky body with a short wheelbase, mounted on tremendously powerfull legs, with the countenance in a wedge-shaped nose formed of unusually dense bone, the Splinter Cat goes a-roaming in search of hollow trees, since bees, honey and coons are his favorite diet. He climbs a tree, guns-himself at the desired hole, and projects himself at it with terrific force. The bony nasal process splinters and shatters the stem, sometimes snapping it clean off. If the Cat finds food in the ruptured trunk, he is temporarily appeased. If not, he goes immediately for another tree. And right there is the big trouble. The Cat doesn’t use any judgment in selecting trees, he just smashes one after another until he gets a meal. Unlike more intelligent parties, he doesn’t seem to be able to learn the outward signs of a bee or coon-tree.


message 24: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:59PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SQUONK
Lacrimacorpus dissolvens Sudw.


Probably the homeliest animal in the world, and knows it. The distribution was once fairly wide, the usual habitat being high plains where desert vegetation was abundant. History shows beyond dispute that, as these areas gradually changed to swampy, lake-dotted country the Squonk was forced to take to the water. Of distinctly low mentality it traveled constantly around the unacustomed marches in search of fodder. With time, it developed webbing between its toes, but only on the submerged left feet. Hence, on entering the water it could swim only in circles, and never got back to shore. Fossil bones dredged from these lake-bottoms reveal that thousands perished of starvation in this manner.
To-day the Squonk is met with solely in the hemlock forests of Pennsylvania. It is a most retiring bashful, crepuscular animal, garbed in a loose, warty, singulary ill-fitting skin. The Squonk is always unhappy—even morbid. He is given to constant weeping over his really upsetting appearance, and can sometimes be tracked by his tear-stained trail. Moonlight nights are best for Squonk hunts, for then the animal prefers to lie quiet in its hemlock-home, fearing, should it venture forth, that it may catch a glimpse of itself in some moonlit pool. Sometimes you can hear one weeping softly to himself. The sound is a low note of pleading somewhat resembling the call of the Cross-feathered Snee.

THE SQUONK.
(Lacrimacorpus dissolvens.)


The range of the squonk is very limited. Few people outside of Pennsylvania have ever heard of the quaint beast, which is said to be fairly common in the hemlock forests of that State. The squonk is of a very retiring disposition, generally traveling about at twilight and dusk. Because of its misfitting skin, which is covered with warts and moles, it is always unhappy ; in fact it is said, by people who are best able to judge, to be the most morbid of beast. Hunters who are good at tracking are able to follow a squonk by its tear-stained trail, for the animal weeps constantly. When cornered and escape seems impossible, or when surprised and frightened, it may even dissolve itself in tears. Squonk hunters are most successful on frosty moonlight nights, when tears are shed slowly and the animal dislikes moving about ; it may then be heard weeping under the boughs of dark hemlock trees. Mr. J. P. Wentling, formerly of Pennsylvania, but now at St. Anthony Park, Minnesota, had a disappointing experience with a squonk near Mont Alto. He made a clever capture by mimicking the squonk and inducing it to hop into a sack, in which he was carrying it home, when suddenly the burden lightened and the weeping ceased. Wentling unslung the sack and looked in. There was nothing but tears and bubbles.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SWAMP AUGER
Natator Palustris var. perforens


This boy, often mistaken for an old snag, is found in fresh-water lakes. He carries a swivelled proboscis especially adapted to boring three-inch holes in the bottoms of boats, and will do so unless stopped. But his work can be easily halted either by tickling his snout or by sprinkling it with cayenne pepper. Either procedure will make the Auger sneeze violently, which he hugely enjoys, and he will then hold his expectant nose tight in the hole until the boat can be beached.


message 26: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:56PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE TOTEROAD SHAGAMAW
Bipedester delusissimus Sudw.


Found to-day exclusively in Maine. At one time common on the Allegash waters, and still reported from New Brunswick. While distinctly forbidding-looking, he is shy and quite harmless.
Pretty much of a puzzle. Nobody seems to have any idea how he originated. His front legs end in bear paws, while his rear ones are shod with moose hooves. He always walks erect, sometimes using the front pair, sometimes the rear pair of legs. The change from bear to moose tracks, occurs regularly every twenty chains. The shift in his trail marks has dumbfonded many an inexperienced woodsman and trapper. Since the beast is of low mental stature and probably imitative, it is believed that he makes this regular swap either from watching surveyors or because he can only count up to 440.
His usual beat is along tote-roads, where he eats mittens, rubbers, caulked boots and other forgotten or discarded apparel.

THE TOTE-ROAD SHAGAMAW.
(Bipedester delusissimus.)


From the Rangeley Lakes to the Allegash and across in New Brunswick loggers tell of an animal which has puzzled many a man, even those who were not strangers in the woods. Frequently the report is circulated that the tracks of a bear have been seen near camp, but a little later this is denied and moose tracks are reported instead. Heated arguments among the men, sometimes resulting in fist fights, are likely to follow. It is rightly considered an insult to a woodsman to accuse him of not being able to distinguish the track of either of these animals. To only a few of the old timber cruisers and rivermen is the explanation of these changing tracks known. Gus Demo, of Oldtown, Maine, who has hunted and trapped and logged in the Maine woods for 40 years, once came upon what he recognized as the tracks of a moose. After following it for about 80 rods it changed abruptly into unmistakable bear tracks ; another 80 rods and it changed to moose tracks again. It was soon observed by Mr. Demo that these changes took place precisely every quarter of a mile, and, furthermore, that whatever was making the tracks always followed a tote road or a blazed line through the woods. Coming up within sight of the animal, Gus saw that it had front feet like a bear's and hind feet like those of a moose, and that it was pacing carefully, taking exactly a yard at a step. Suddenly it stopped, looked all about, and swung as on pivot, then inverting itself and walking on its front feet only, it resumed its pacing. Mr. Demo was only an instant in recognizing by the witness trees that the place where the animal changed was a section corner. From this fact he reasoned that the shagamaw must have been originally a very imitative animal, which, from watching surveyors timber cruisers, and trappers patiently following lines through the woods, contracted the habit itself. He figures that the shagamaw can count only as high as 440 ; therefore it must invert itself every quarter of a mile.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE TREESQUEAK
Arborexusta stridens


Some folks will claim that the mating call of the Treesqueak is just a dry tree lodged in a “school marm.” But we old boys know better. The sound is made by an untrustworthy animal still quite common in the North Woods. Built something like a weasel, and with the same nice, friendly disposition he is chameleon-like, and can wrap himself around a tree-trunk and match the bark exactly.
He is sometimes aggressive, but only after a long, dry spell. Has a variety of calls; a whine like a panther, a squeal like a young pig, and sometimes a roar like a bunch of cannon crackers at a shotgun wedding. Look out for him on windy days along towards sundown.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE TRIPODERO
Collapsofemeris geocatapeltes Sudw.


Usually seen around construction camps and engineering jobs. Seldom found about logging works except where railroad location and construction work is going on.
Birds and Other small animals constitute his main diet. He is not a fast traveler, but his extension legs (just like a transit) make it possible for him to prowl close to the ground. On spotting game, he slowly extends these legs until he gains a clear sight over the brush. Focussing the 4-power ’scope, the rifled, gun-like beak is carefully trained on the victim, a hardened clay pellet from the magazine in the cheek-pouch is inserted in the breech and puffed swiftly on its way. The target is instantly knocked senseless, and is then slowly eaten.
Seldom does the Tripodero miss. He is a deep student of ballistics, and has fine judgment of distance, wind and drift.


message 29: by 『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (last edited Dec 17, 2012 06:51PM) (new)

『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE WAMPUS CAT 5
Aquilamappreluendens forcipe


Since the first specimen was discovered scratching false blazes on mount trails, the Wampus Cat has been blamed for a variety of forest tribulatons. If a Wampus wades a stream, the fish won't bite for seven days. When the Wampus is on the prowl the only game abroad is the fool hen. The howl of the Wampus on a lonely night will curdle a crock of sourdough. Females of the species may be killed only with a crosscut saw. The males, practically indestructible, carry in their fur the germ of blister rust. Under the influence of a full moon, the glare from their eyes starts forest fires. Their footprints are visible only in solid rock. They steal prospectors’ picks to brush their teeth.
Now the Wampus—still abundant in its native Idaho and particularly large and violent during the season when the crop of dudes yields a bushel to the picket-line—has an opportunity to redeem itself. A favorite pastime of the feline is snatching eagles. Trappers on the Salmon River are plagued, they say, with eagles killling deer. The game department is angry with the eagles and seeking a solution to a vexing problem. Eagle lovers---their name has been legion---are angry with the game department.
The simple solution suggested by the Wampus Society, which is composed of every man who has seen a rampant Wampus Cat at dusk menacing a mountain lion with a jackhammer, is that the burden be turned Over to the Wampus breed. Once the Wampus reaches the eagle country the feathers will fly. Nature has endowed the marvelous cat with an amazing right forearm. It works like a folding pruning hook on the pantographic principle.
The Wampus lurks on a craggy promontory with its tufted ears aslant like the budding prongs of a young goat and its voice softened from the customary howl of a disfranchised banshee to the bleat of a kid. When an eagle approaches, the strange arm shoots out with astonishing speed and direction. The eagle is caught and reeled in.
If the Wampus is hungry, he devours the prey, feathers, beak, and all. If his mood is playful, the Wampus extracts the tail fan only and releases the bird. The feathers are given to the Indians. Wampus Cats are friendly with the red men. That has been offered as one reason why Indians never have turned in a Wampus fur. Primitive trappers of the primitive areas who have caught them declare that the hide runs mostly to quills anyhow and the color is akin to a Christmas necktie.
Origin of the Wampus, on the authority of Stanley Basin mountain men, dates back to the old-fashioned beaver. It seems that a trapper’s dog surprised a beaver far from water. There was nothing for the animal to do but climb a tree. But beavers don’t climb trees. So it became a Wampus Cat.
Once lured to the bailiwick of the wicked Salmon River eagles, the quick-witted Wampus will swiftly eradicate the fowls of the air, perhaps not even sparing the wild turkeys recently planted there. A Wampus knows an eagle, but trouble is anticipated when the eagle and the turkey cross into a new species known as the Turkeagle. The Wampus could not tell them apart because he cannot spell.
The biggest puzzle brought to the attention of the Wampus Society is how to dispose of the Wampus once it has exterminated the pernicious eagle. Gorged on its favorite food and happy in the free, wild environment of the Middle Fork, the Wampus might decide to stay permanently. No predator is known that lives on Wampus meat. The Wampus might become a plague worse than the bird it is called upon to exterminate.
Only one Idaho beast has ever put the Wampus to rout. The Whiffenpoofit has the way but seldom the will. The Whiffenpoofit comes down both sides of a river at once. Even the deadly Wampus cannot make up its mind which flank to attack, so it folds its pantographic arm and resolves itself into a midnight screech.

5: Tryon's depiction of the Wampus cat is unique among most accounts. As many describe the animal at miminumal as a fearsome water-panther.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE WHIFFENPOOF
(Sometimes called the Gilli-Galoo Fish)
Piscisabsurdus tumescens


A tasty fish, found only in perfectly round lakes. Hence quite rare. To catch him, row to the exact center of the lake, using the hogyoke to determine position, and bore a square hole in the water. Bait the edge of this hole with a bit of cheese, preferably Brie, Stilton, Liederkranz, or best of all; Limburger. The Whiffenpoof will quickly scent the bait and come for it. When he emerges, spit tobacco-juice in his eye. This will make him so swell with rage that he won’t be able to withdraw into the hole, and you can easily net him.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE WHIRLING WHIMPUS
Turbinocissus nebuloides Sudw.


Lives along the hardwood ridges of the Southern Appalachians, and is doubtless responsible for the occasional complete disappearance of hikers in that area.
A chunky beast, some seven feet tall, with a body about the size of a coal-oil drum and roughly furred. The equine hind legs unite at the fetlock, terminating in one broad hoof. The front legs, disproportionately long, sinewy and powerful, end in broad paddles. When standing at ease, the Whimpus usually rests these on the ground.
The Whimpus is wholly carnivorous. Deer, bear, oxen, turkeys, humans---they're all grist to his mill. About sundown time he will take stand by a bend in the trail and begin to whirl on his single hoof. The maximum speed (2150 r.p.m.) is quickly reached and is accompanied by a peculiar droning sound. At top speed the Whimpus is practically invisible, a little dust or a few leaves eddying about being the only indications of his presence. The unwary, home-bound hiker, on hearing the odd droning, usually starts to investigate it. The instant he steps within the circle of those flying, flailing bony paddles he is deposited thereon in the form of an unctuous treacle. The Whimpus then promptly cuts his throttle, slows down, and crawls under a nearby patch of rhododendron to lick off his syrupy supper.
A Whimpus was recently reported from Nebraska by a chap whose name, age, and previous condition of veracitude are unknown to us. He swears that he saw one at precisely 11:32 P.M., on June 23, 1935, just as he was emerging from a roadside gin-mill. We are dilligently seeking confirmation of this report.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SNIPE
Scolopax inexplicabilis


A common bird, occasionally seen, but never yet caught. Legions of sharp-eyed young foresters, engineers, cruisers, cookees, rodmen and hard-rock apprentices have made repeated, careful, and valiant attempts to corral one, but notwithstanding the bushels of careful advice and instruction handed out by the older hands in the party, success has not yet been attained. Seldom does the seasoned woodsman make the attempt; he is probably too discouraged to try again. But he is often willing to travel along with the hunting party just to see what happens, or perhaps to offer an occasional word of advice.
Many years ago I was taken on a snipe hunt and was able to get a good look at one bird which strayed near the bag I was so carefully holding. I couldn't get my hands on the little fellow, but I did have time to study him a bit, and I find that my observations tally very closely with a detailed report received from Mr. Howard S. Gardner. Here's the summary.
A bird of marvellous coloration: green, blues, pinks, and here and there the glint of gold. Wears both fur and feathers, with the fur side inside, like Mudjekeewis.6 Stands erect, about 17 cm high on two legs, but has a third auxiliary slightly aft, for use either as a stabilizer or as a starting mechanism. Lacking this additional leg, permanent unstable equilibrium would result. The eyes are fired with a constant, sulphurous glow, occasionally emitting small showers of sparks. One pupil is vertical, one horizontal, and winking is done alternately, keeping the Snipe constantly alert. His sharply hooked little beak is mounted on a bull-wheel base like a steam shovel, making possible the capture of insects without turning the head.
All in all, a most interesting and elusive animal. The fur-and-feathers combination makes the ideal protective coat for the natural marshy habitat. When the Snipe is swiming, the ridged feathers fold back, forming a perfectly smooth outer surface which reduces skin friction to a minimum. With the fur inside, the Snipe possesses a waterproof, fur-lined overcoat.

6: Figure of Ojibwe legends.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SNOLIGOSTER.
(Dorsohastatus caudirotula.)


In the cypress swamps of the South, and particularly in the region about Lake Okechobee, Florida, woodmen tell of a strange and dangerous animal known as the snoligoster. This creature is of enormous proportions and is credited with a voracious appetite. Worst of all, its appetite is only appeased by the eating of human beings. In form the snoligoster resembles a huge crocodile, but it is covered with long, glossy fur and has no legs or fins, except one long spike on its back. A person naturally wonders how such an animal can manage to travel through the water and mud of the swamp region where it lives, but nature has provided it with a means for driving itself along. On the end of its tail are three bony plates much resembling the propeller on a steamboat. These revolve at a terrific rate, driving the animal like a torpedo boat through mud. They serve other purposes as well, for when a snoligoster catches an unfortunate pickaninny, or even a fullgrown negro, upon which it delights to feed, it tosses the victim up and backward so as to impale him upon the spike fin, where several may be carried until sufficient for a meal have been collected. The snoligoster's tail is then driven into the mud and revolved until a hole is scooped out and the victims scraped off the spike and tossed in, whereupon the snoligoster beats them into batter with its rapidly revolving propeller and inhales them.
Mr. Inman F. Eldredge, of De Funiak Springs, Flordia, while hunting for an outlaw negro in the swamps, had a most unusual experience. He caught sight of the negro, dead and impaled upon what at first appeared to be a slender cypress knee, but which presently began to move away. It was then seen to be the spike on a snoligoster's back. Eldredge's first impulse was to shoot the strange beast, but upon second thought he concluded that it was doing a good work and was entitled to live on. The very report of such a creature inhabiting the swamps would deter evil-doers from venturing into these wild places to avoid their pursuers and escape justice.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE LEPROCAUN.
(Simiidiabolus hibernicus horribillis.)


During the early days of Upper Canada, before it became the Providence of Ontario, there were brought into a logging camp on the Madawaska River several young leprocauns from the north of Ireland. This animal was even then rare and has since become extinct in its native land. It is said that during the last famine hungry Irishmen killed and ate the few remaining specimens of this queer beast.
On its native bogs the leprocaun was a harmless creature, celebrated for its playfulness and laughable antics. It would hop across the bogs, turn somersaults, and leap over hillocks with wondrous agility. A favorite trick was to bore into a pile of drying peat and then, with a sudden spring, send the clods of peat high in the air till the commotion looked like a young cyclone. These antics were all right enough in Ireland, but when the animal was brought to Canada its disposition changed at once. The pets on the Madawaska escape into nearby tamarack swamps, increasing and spreading until an occasional one was seen on the upper Ottawa and even over in northern Michigan. Sneaking through the tamarack and cedar , or leaping across the muskegs after whatever appealed to it as food, the leprocaun became a creature to be feared and avoided. Teamsters toting supplies across swamp roads have been attacked by the animal, which would bound clear over the load, snapping its teeth at the driver and reaching for him with its villainous claws. Hasty flight to thick timber, leaving the team to its fate, was the only choice of the driver, who thanked his stars that in running through tangled tamarack even the leprocaun is no match for a frightened man.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE FUNERAL MOUNTAIN TERRASHOT.
(Funericorpus displosissimum.)


This animal explains the origin of the name of the Funeral Range, California. The creature has a casket-like body, six to eight feet long, with a shell running the whole length of its back. Its four legs are long and wobbly, causing the terrashot to sway uncertainly from side to side and forward and backward as it travels along.
The strange beast was first reported by some Mormon emigrants, who observed a peculiar procession entering the desert from a certain mountain range, afterward named the Funeral Mountains. They also witnessed the tragic fate of the creatures. One of the Mormons, aroused by his curiosity, made an investigation which resulted in finding out about all that is known of the terrashot. It seems that the animal lives in the little meadows and parks in the higher portions of the range, where it gradually increases in numbers, until by a strange impulse it is seized by a desire to emigrate. They then form long processions and march down into the desert, with the evident intention of crossing to other ranges that can be seen in the distance, but none of them ever gets across. As they encounter the hot sands they rapidly distend with the heat, and one after another they blow up with resounding reports, leaving deep, grave-shaped holes in the sand.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SLIDE-ROCK BOLTER.
(Macrostoma saxiperrumptus.)


In the mountains of Colorado, where in summer the wood are becoming infested with tourist, much uneasiness has been caused by the presence of the slide-rock bolter. This frightful animal lives only in the steepest mountain country where the slopes are greater than 45 degrees. It has an immense head, with small eyes, and a mouth somewhat on the order of a sculpin, running back beyond its ears. The tail consist of a divided flipper, with enormous grab-hooks, which it fastens over the crest of the mountain or ridge, often remaining there motionless for days at a time, watching the gulch for tourists or any other hapless creature that may enter it. At the right moment, after sighting a tourist, it will lift its tail, thus loosening its hold on the mountain, and with its small eyes riveted on the poor unfortunate, and drooling thin skid grease from the corners of its mouth, which greatly accelerates its speed, the bolter comes down like a toboggan, scooping in its victim as it goes, its own impetus carrying it up the next slope, where it again slaps its tail over the ridge and waits. Whole parties of tourists are reported to have been gulped at one scoop by taking parties far back into the hills. The animals is a menace not only to tourist but to the woods as well. Many a draw through spruce-covered slopes has been laid low, the trees being knocked out by the roots or mowed off as by a scythe where the bolter has crashed down through from the peaks above.
A forest ranger, whose district includes the rough county between Ophir Peaks and the Lizzard Head, conceived the bold idea of decoying a slide-rock bolter to its own destruction. A dummy tourist was rigged up with plaid Norfolk jacket, knee breeches, and a guide book to Colorado. It was then filled full of giant powder and fulminate caps and posted in a conspicuous place, where, sure enough, the next day it attracted the attention of a bolter which had been hanging for days on the slope of Lizzard Head. The resulting explosion flattened half the buildings in Rico, which were never rebuilt, and the surrounding hills fattened flocks of buzzards the rest of the summer.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE WAPALOOSIE.
(Geometrigradus cilioretractus.)


In the damp forests of the Pacific coast and eastward as far as the St. Joe River, in north Idaho, ranges a quaint little beast, known among loggers as the wapaloosie. It is about the size of a sausage dog, but is not even distantly related to the canine family. The wapaloosie, according to lumber jacks, lives upon shelf fungus or conchs exclusively, and he is able to get them with ease, no matter if they are growing on the tip top of a hundred-foot dead tree. It is a pleasure for one of these animals to climb, for he has feet and toes like those of a woodpecker, and he humps himself along like a measuring worm. Even his tail is spiked at the tip and aids him as he mounts the lofty firs in quest of food.
One of the most peculiar features of the animal was discovered only recently. A lumber jack in one of the camps on the Humptulips River, Washington, shot a wapaloosie, and upon examining its velvety coat decided that it would make an attractive and serviceable pair of mittens, which he proceeded to make. The hide was tanned thoroughly and the mittens made with care, fur side out, and as the lumber jack went to work he exhibited them with pride. Imagine his surprise upon talking hold of an ax to find that the mittens immediately worked their way up and off the handle. It was the same with whatever he took hold of, and, finding that he could not use the mittens, they were left in a skid road, and were last seen working their way over logs and litter across the slashing


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE SNOW WASSET.
(Mustelinopsis subitivorax.)


On the most northern logging camps of Canada we hear of the snow wasset. This is surely an animal of the Boreal Zone. It is a migratory animal, wintering in the lumbering region between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay and spending its summers far north in Labrador and the Barren Grounds. Unlike most wild creatures of the North, the wasset is said to hibernate during only the warmest weather, when its hair turns green and it curls up in a cranberry marsh. During the summer it has rudimentary legs, which enable it to creep slowly around and remain in the shade.
After the first howling snowstorm the wasset sheds its legs and starts south , dipping about in the snow. It soon attains remarkable skill in this method of travel, which enables it to surprise burrowing grouse, crouching rabbits, and skulking varmints of many kinds. Later in the winter, when food becomes scarce and more difficult to obtain, even wolves are snowdrifts. According to woodsmen, the tragedies of the far North are more numerous beneath the crusted snow than above it. There is no telling how many creatures are pulled down and eaten by the wasset, for this animal has a voracious appetite, comparable only to that of the wolverine, but since it is four times as big and forty times as active as the wolverine it must eat correspondingly more.
The only specimen of this beast ever examined by white men was an imperfect one on James Bay, where a party of surveyors found an Indian in a peculiar canoe, which, upon exami- nation, was shown to be made from one wasset hide greatly stretched. There being no leg holes in the white winter pelt, it is peculiarly adapted to the making of shapely one-man A whole battery of dead-falls are believed to be used in trapping a wasset, since it is impossible to tell in what direction the animal's body may extend. The trigger is set so that a dozen logs fall in from all sides toward the bait, pinning the animal under the snow wherever he may be.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE CENTRAL AMERICAN WHINTOSSER.
(Cephalovertens semperambulatus.)


In the spring of 1906 there appeared suddenly in the Coast Ranges of California an uncanny animal from the region of the Isthmus. It is not a large beast, but what it lacks in size it makes up in meanness of disposition. None of the lumber jacks who have met a whintosser on trail or tote road care to have the experience repeated. The Central American whin- tosser is always looking for trouble or making it. In fact the beast seems to be constructed for the purpose of passing through unusual experiences. Its head is fastened to its body by a swivel neck ; so is its short, tampering tail ; and both can be spun around at the rate of a hundred revolutions a minute. The body is long and triangular, with three complete sets of legs ; this is a great convenience in an earthquake country, since the animal is not disturbed by any convulsions of the earth. If the floor suddenly becomes the ceiling it does not matter, for the whintosser is always there with the legs. Its hair is bristly, and all slants forward at a sharp angle. It has been found that a cat's nine lives are as nothing to the one possessed by a whintosser. This animal may be shot, clubbed, or strung on a pike pole without stopping the wriggling, whirling motions or the screams of rage. The only successful way of killing the beast is to poke it into a flume pipe so that all its feet strike the surface, when it Immediately starts to walk in three different directions at once and tears itself apart. John Gray, of Anadar, Trinity County, California, knows where a pair of whintossers live in some broken-up country along Mad River.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE BILLDAD.
(Saltipiscator falcorostratus.)


If you have ever paddled around Boundary Pond, in north- west Maine, at night you have probably heard from out the black depths of a cove a spat like a paddle striking the water. It may have been a paddle, but the chances are ten to one that it was a billdad fishing. This animal occurs only on this one pond, in Hurricane Township. It is about the size of a beaver, but has long, kangaroo-like hind legs, short front legs, webbed feet, and a heavy, hawk-like bill. Its mode of fishing is to crouch on a grassy point overlooking the water, and when a trout rises for a bug, to leap with amazing swiftness just past the fish, bringing its heavy, flat tail down with a resounding smack over him. This stuns the fish, which is immediately picked up and eaten by the billdad. It has been reported that sixty yards is an average jump for an adult male.
Up to three years ago the opinion was current among lumber jacks that the billdad was fine eating, but since the beasts are exceedingly shy and hard to catch no one was able to remember having tasted the meat. That fall one was killed on Boundary Pond and brought into the Great Northern Paper Company's camp on Hurricane Lake, where the cook made a most savory slumgullion of it. The first (and only) man to taste it was Bill Murphy, a tote-road swamper from Ambegegis. After the first mouthful his body stiffened, his eyes glazed, and his hands clutched the table edge. With a wild yell he rushed out of the cook-house, down to the lake, and leaped clear out fifty yards, coming down in a sitting posture—exactly like a billdad catching a fish. Of course, he sank like a stone. Since then not a lumber jack in Maine will touch billdad meat, not even with a pike pole.


『ᴡɪᴄᴋʟɪɴɢ ᴛʀᴀsʜ ● ɢᴏᴏᴅʙʏᴇ』 (wickling) | 372 comments Mod
THE HYAMPOM HOG BEAR.
(Ursus unimorsus amantiporcus.)


Ranging from mouth of the Columbia River southward to the Klamath, woodsmen report the existence of a bear known as the Hyampom hog bear. This is a small, sharp-nosed, curly-haired variety of the black and brown bear of the Coast Ranges, but must not be confused with the Peaked-heel cinnamon.
To appreciate the importance of this animal one must remember that hog ranches are common in northwestern California. The Country there is peculiarly adapted to hog raising, and the industry would be attractive and highly profitable were it not for the existence of the hog bear. The mountain slopes are covered with scrubby and creeping oaks, which bear prodigious crops of sweet and very nutritious acorns. These naturally ripen earliest upon the lower slopes, where the young hogs begin to feed. As the acorns higher up the slopes begin to ripen, the hogs ascend the mountain, each week finding them a few hundred feet higher and many pounds fatter. About Christmas time the last of the acorns are reached on the upper slopes, and the hogs have by that time become so fat that their legs scarcely reach the ground, and the slightest jar is all that the hog bear gets in his destructive work. He "mooches" along the base of the mountain before the rancher has time to rustle his pork, and finding hogs so plentiful and so helplessly fat he takes just one bite out of the back of each, leaving the porker squealing with agony and the rancher swearing with rage.
While examining timber on a tributary of the Klamath River, California, Mr. Eugene S. Bruce, of the Forest Services, captured a cub hog bear, which he presented to the National Zoo in Washington. Its development will be watched with Interest and its disposition studied by members of the Biological Survey.


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