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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Wampus Cat.
Aquilamappreluendens forcipe
          Since the first specimen was discovered scratching false blazes on mount trails, the Wampus Cat has been blamed for a variety of forest tribulatons. If a Wampus wades a stream, the fish won't bite for seven days. When the Wampus is on the prowl the only game abroad is the fool hen. The howl of the Wampus on a lonely night will curdle a crock of sourdough. Females of the species may be killed only with a crosscut saw. The males, practically indestructible, carry in their fur the germ of blister rust. Under the influence of a full moon, the glare from their eyes starts forest fires. Their footprints are visible only in solid rock. They steal prospectors’ picks to brush their teeth.
          Now the Wampus—still abundant in its native Idaho and particularly large and violent during the season when the crop of dudes yields a bushel to the picket-line—has an opportunity to redeem itself. A favorite pastime of the feline is snatching eagles. Trappers on the Salmon River are plagued, they say, with eagles killling deer. The game department is angry with the eagles and seeking a solution to a vexing problem. Eagle lovers---their name has been legion---are angry with the game department.
          The simple solution suggested by the Wampus Society, which is composed of every man who has seen a rampant Wampus Cat at dusk menacing a mountain lion with a jackhammer, is that the burden be turned Over to the Wampus breed. Once the Wampus reaches the eagle country the feathers will fly. Nature has endowed the marvelous cat with an amazing right forearm. It works like a folding pruning hook on the pantographic principle.
The Wampus lurks on a craggy promontory with its tufted ears aslant like the budding prongs of a young goat and its voice softened from the customary howl of a disfranchised banshee to the bleat of a kid. When an                                                                             .
5: Tryon's depiction of the Wampus cat is unique among most accounts. As many describe the animal at miminumal as a fearsome water-panther.

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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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