Henry H. Tryon's
“ F E A R S O M E   C R I T T E R S
( 70th A N N I V E R S A R Y   H Y P E R T E X T   E D I T I O N )

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The lumberwoods are to the logger as houses of worship are to the devotee, it is hollowed ground. Not only does the forest provide the woodsman with gainful employment, but supplies him with the inspiration from where his imagination runs rampant. Henry Harrington Tryon's Fearsome Critters is a unique perspective from yesterday's woodsman. Masterfully dedicated, “to those who have held the bag on a Snipe hunt,” in this volume the late Mr. Tryon tactfully transports the listener to the land that dreamers dream, just as early woodsmen envisioned it to be. It is a terra incognita of terrifying beasts and utterly fantastic creatures. The stories of which enticed not only sleepless nights from many a camp greenhorn, but provided loggers with a diversion from the dangers of the daily wilderness.

Since his first “encounter” with a fearsome critter in the bunkhouses astride Attean Lake, Tryon's testimony provides us with an indispensable piece of oral history. It is perhaps from its title the term, “fearsome critters” came into popular usage, and the manuscript itself reads just as much a fantasy as it does an old logger's last will and testament. “It is common knowledge,” verses Tryon, “that America has grown at a tremendous pace, so rapidly in that much true folk-lore was born, lived and died with no chance of ever becoming a part of our permanent records. Without doubt this has happened to a good bit of woods lore.” It is evident that it was the author's fondest wish and fullest aspiration that he should leave this wondrous lore to the heirs of latter generatisons. In the hopes that this lost mythology might find a new home and captivate fresh imaginations. Without futher ado, it is with great honor that we present the following, as told by one best able to report the “facts.”

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Fearsome Critters, Written by Henry H. Tryon • Illustrated by Margaret R. Tryon
(Cornwall, NY: Idlewild Press, 1939) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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