The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103674   Message #2369461
Posted By: Jim Dixon
18-Jun-08 - 08:44 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: the wampus cat
Subject: RE: Folklore: the wampus cat
When I was a kid, one spring we discovered a mysterious hole in the soft dirt of our vegetable garden.

It turned out to have been caused by my pet box turtle. He had disappeared in the fall, and we assumed he had escaped and "run away"—a strange expression, I know, in reference to a turtle. Actually, when no one was looking, he had dug himself a hole, covered himself with dirt, and gone into hibernation. When he emerged in the spring, we found the hole before we found the turtle. We eventually discovered him in another part of the yard, and put two and two together, but until then, the hole was indeed mysterious.

My father remarked, on first seeing the hole, "It must have been a wampus." It was the first and only time I ever heard that word in my childhood. Of course, I must have asked, "What's a wampus?" but my father refused to explain. He just shook his head ominously, implying it was something too horrible to describe.

You can bet it made my hair stand on end. I can't remember how I figured out he had been pulling my leg.