A Fearsome Critter To Behold: The Boat Hound
While deep in the heart of the lumberwoods, lumberjacks had to be on constant guard and on the lookout for a variety of rare creatures that could cause extreme harm, instant death, and pure frustration. Critters such as the Shagamaw, the Agropelter, the Whirling Whimpus, and the Snow Wassett were known to make their homes between the trees and everyone knew that simply stepping foot into their home was just asking for trouble. So, when it came time to choose a location to make camp, lumberjacks often picked an area not too far from a river or lake.
They picked this location not only because of the convenience of transportation by boat and the readily available source of water close by, but because it also provided a separation between them and the dense forest. The dangerous critters stayed in the woods, and the lumberjacks stayed safe with their backs to the water. To all outside eyes, it appeared that the fearsome critter problem was solved. Right? Wrong. Let me introduce you to The Boat Hound.
The fearsome critter known as The Boat Hound is not your typical beast of the woods, as this particular specimen prefers to live alongside bodies of water rather than inside the dense trees. The creature is often described as having a long body that is crudely shaped like a boat, huge frog-like feet, four ears, a large mouth like an alligator, and a temperament like that of an angry grizzly. The critter can never be captured as its four ears allow it to hear everything that is going on around it, the front pair are designed to hear everything in front of it, and the back two are listening to everything behind it.
Once thought to be strictly aquatic, the critter can actually survive on land quite well. While it does sleep at the bottom of lakes during daylight hours, it walks on dry land during the night. During its late night walks, it is constantly searching for its favorite food, untied boats. When the Boat Hound comes across a boat that has not been properly secured either with rope or anchor, it proceeds to make quick work of devouring it. The critter consumes every last piece of the vessel and leaves nothing to be found the next day. The Boat Hound is so effective at eating a boat that if one were to not know about such a creatures existence, one would simply assume that boat vanished into thin air. The appetite of the critter is so fierce, that it can easily consume upwards of three boats a night before heading back down into the cold depths of its lake home.
“In early lumberjack folklore, fearsome critters were mythical beasts that were said to inhabit the frontier wilderness of North America. The critters were a part of lumberjack downtime and were often used to welcome and haze newcomers to the camp. Lumberjacks who would go from camp to camp would bring their entertaining stories with them and they would slowly spread as tall tales across America.”
-The Pine Barrens Institute
*Image Credit: Public Domain Image