William T. Cox's
“ F E A R S O M E   C R E A T U R E S   O F   T H E   L U M B E R W O O D S
( 100th 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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Hodag.
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THE HODAG.
(Nasobatilus hystrivoratus.)

          This animal has been variously described by woodsmen from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Opinions differ greatly as to the appearance of the beast, some claiming it to be covered with horns and spines and having a maniacal disposition. The description which seems most authentic and from which the sketch of the animal has been made is as follows: size about that of a rhinoceros and somewhat resembling that animal in general makeup. The creature is slow in motion, deliberate, and, unlike the rhinoceros, very intelligent. Its hairless body is mottled, striped, and checked in a striking manner, suggestive of the origin of the patterns upon Mackinaw clothing, now used in the lumber woods. On the hodag's nose, instead of a horn there is a large spade-shaped bony growth, with peculiar phalanges, extending up in front of the eye, so that he can see only straight up. This probably accounts for the deliberate disposition of the animal, which wanders through the spruce woods looking for suitable food. About the only living creature which the hodag can catch is the porcupine ; indeed, it would appear that the porcupine is its natural food. Upon sighting one rolled up in the branches of a spruce the hodag begins to blink his eyes, lick his chops, and spade around the roots and over goes the tree, knocking the breath out of the porcupine in its fall. The hodag then straddles the fallen tree, front feet crush the helpless porcupine, and then deliberately swallows him head first.
          In the autumn the hodag strips the bark off a number of spruce or pine trees and covers himself all over with pitch. He then searches out a patch of hardwood timber where dead leaves lie thick on the ground. Here he rolls about until completely encased in a thick, warm mantle of leaves, in which condition he spends the winter.

Page Twenty-Nine.

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Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts
Written by William T. Cox • Illustrated by Coert Du Bois • With Latin Classifications by George B. Sudworth
(Washington: Judd & Detweiler, Inc., 1910) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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