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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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.

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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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