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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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.

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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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