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Dedicated "to those who have held the bag on a Snipe hunt"
April 23, 2014 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Published in 1910, William T. Cox's Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts is one of the earliest written accounts describing fabulous beasts of lumberjack lore, together called "fearsome critters." Read of tales of the peculiar wapaloosie, the spiky, hairless hodag that swallows trees whole, and the bizarrely violent splinter cat, which smashes trees with its head until it finds food. When you've been there a spell, take a gander through Paul Bunyan's Natural History, in which the goofang fish swims backwards to keep water out of its eyes and the teakettler walks backwards, nostrils steaming. For more harrowing yarns on yesterday's monsters, thumb through Henry Tryon's Fearsome Critters, which closes with a tantalizing snipet about an eternally elusive bird.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (27 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would think the jackalope would figure more prominently than some of those other, lesser, creatures ..
posted by k5.user at 12:21 PM on April 23


they're not all fearsome. the cabbit (half cat, half rabbit) is typically shy and rarely seen.
posted by bruce at 12:29 PM on April 23


then there's the tailypo, which we don't have on the west coast.
posted by bruce at 12:39 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


k5.user, the problem with the jackalope is that it exists.

I mean... they ALL exist, obviously... but the jackalope is less... difficult to find.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:45 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


I'm disappointed that there are no warnings here about the dropbear. Maybe it's because it's Australian? It's a marsupial that attacks by dropping onto their prey's heads.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:54 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Yeah I got a hell of a lot of dropbear warnings when moving to Australia... They look cute and cuddly but they can be deadly!
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:59 PM on April 23


> It's a marsupial that attacks by dropping onto their prey's heads.

What kind of HD do they have? Because I'm pretty damned sure those were in the 3rd Edition.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:11 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Have you ever seen a squonk's tears? Well look at mine.
posted by timsteil at 1:13 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


OMG, timsteil - I finally now know where Squonk Opera got their name! (oops... turns out that's not it - but this is more fun, so I choose to believe it.)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:20 PM on April 23


So many memories of reassuring the first-year campers that yes, there were snipes, and yes, you caught them with pillowcases and flashlights in the dark.
posted by emjaybee at 1:48 PM on April 23


"dropbear" is just another name for funnel web spiders isn't it
posted by Hoopo at 1:51 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Pillowcases? Everyone knows the laundry bag you have in your college dorm room is perfect for catching snipe. You stand there in the corn field with the bag open and we'll beat the snipe toward you.
posted by Area Man at 1:58 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


k5.user, the problem with the jackalope is that it exists.


Dear god, those aren't jackalopes, those are some terrifying Cthulhu-bunny hybrids. Gah!
posted by dogheart at 2:18 PM on April 23


If you want to build a really sturdy snipe trap you'll have to go down to the lumber yard and ask for some four by eight two by fours.
posted by islander at 2:22 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Oh, man, islander. Do you also need a bucket of propwash and a hundred feet of shoreline? Maybe a left-handed hammer?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:25 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Splinter cat! Eats not only honey but BEES! I don't know how that's not the coolest thing ever, and if I was the sort of crazy-rich 1%-er who could afford an extra username, I would be all over this.

SPLINTERCAT
posted by hap_hazard at 2:25 PM on April 23


I remember the first time I went camping with our girl scout troop, someone started making noise about a snipe hunt, and I was very confused, since the procedure involved did not seem ideal for the procurement of small wading birds and I reckoned the DNR would frown upon such shenanigans and why would we do such a thing anyway.

I was then informed I was no fun and nobody liked me anyway.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:49 PM on April 23 [8 favorites]


In my defense, none of them seemed to know that the snipe is a real bird, but they did make fun of me for reading Ranger Rick.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:51 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Wow. Within the last month I had remembered a book from my childhood in the '60's, but could not remember the name. I looked at this and it had the same pictures, and then the name snapped that I'd read it under. Looked it up and there it is:
Mythical Creatures of the North Country
"Including a Reprint of Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods By William T. Cox"

So thank you very much.
posted by dragonsi55 at 3:07 PM on April 23


the problem with the jackalope is that it exists.

I mean... they ALL exist, obviously... but the jackalope is less... difficult to find.


Well, that's pretty sad.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:58 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I am a bird watcher so it's probably why I find this surprising, but many people do not believe that a snipe is a real thing. It is.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:49 PM on April 23


Far out. Old timey cryptozoology bestiaryism.

Related, a plug for Bus Griffiths' swell lumbering primer, Now We're Logging.
posted by ovvl at 5:29 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, interesting material and all, but this kind of book emulation on web pages should be illegal. It is already annoying.
posted by pashdown at 6:22 PM on April 23


I am a bird watcher so it's probably why I find this surprising, but many people do not believe that a snipe is a real thing. It is.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:49 PM on April 23 [+] [!]
As another birder, can confirm. Had to physically grab a bird guide and show someone it exists after a 10 minute conversation which basically went, "No, REALLY, it's real", "Lol, stop f-ing with me!" Somehow "elusivity" became "Loch Ness monster" in history.
posted by DisreputableDog at 6:44 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


For the record, the kind of snipes you hunt with pillowcases are small, furry weasel-like creatures. Nocturnal. Intrigued by kissing sounds and mesmerized by flashlight beams.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Intrigued by kissing sounds and mesmerized by flashlight beams.

To make the necessary kissing sounds you may need to kiss somebody. Purely for research purposes.
posted by ovvl at 9:16 PM on April 23


My friend Shawn wrote and recorded an album full of folk songs all about these creatures.
posted by jwynia at 12:32 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


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