In the damp forests of the Pacific coast and eastward as far
as the St. Joe River, in north Idaho, ranges a quaint little
beast, known among loggers as the wapaloosie. It is about the
size of a sausage dog, but is not even distantly related to the
canine family. The wapaloosie, according to lumber jacks,
lives upon shelf fungus or conchs exclusively, and he is able to
get them with ease, no matter if they are growing on the tip top
of a hundred-foot dead tree. It is a pleasure for one of these
animals to climb, for he has feet and toes like those of a woodpecker, and he humps himself along like a measuring worm.
Even his tail is spiked at the tip and aids him as he mounts the
lofty firs in quest of food.
One of the most peculiar features of the animal was discovered only recently. A lumber jack in one of the camps on
the Humptulips River, Washington, shot a wapaloosie, and
upon examining its velvety coat decided that it would make an
attractive and serviceable pair of mittens, which he proceeded
to make. The hide was tanned thoroughly and the mittens
made with care, fur side out, and as the lumber jack went to
work he exhibited them with pride. Imagine his surprise upon
talking hold of an ax to find that the mittens immediately
worked their way up and off the handle. It was the same with
whatever he took hold of, and, finding that he could not use the
mittens, they were left in a skid road, and were last seen working their way over logs and litter across the slashing.