Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

"As the animal travels through the brush-covered country it elongates its legs from time to time, thus shoving itself up above the brush for purposes of observation. If it sights game within a range of ten rods it takes aim with its snout and tilts itself until the right elevation is obtained, then with astonishing force blows a sun dried quid of clay, knocking its victim senseless. (A supply of these quids is always carried in the left jaw.) The tripodero then contracts its legs and bores its way through the brush to its victim, where it stays until the last bone is cracked and eaten."

"The hugag is a hudge animal of the Lake States. Its range
includes western Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and a territory extending indefinitely northward in the Canadian wilds toward Hudson Bay. In size the hugag may be compared to the moose, and in form it somewhat resembles that animal. Very noticeable, however, are its jointless legs, which compel the animal to remain on its feet, and its long upper lip, which prevents it from grazing."

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 whintosser 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. 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."

The above illustrations and text can be found on the official website for the book as written by William T. Cox and illustrated by Coert Du Bois in 1910.

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