|THE CENTRAL AMERICAN WHINTOSSER.
In the spring of 1906 there appeared suddenly in the Coast
Ranges of California an uncanny animal from the region of
the Isthmus. It is not a large beast, but what it lacks in size it
makes up in meanness of disposition. None of the lumber
jacks who have met a whintosser on trail or tote road care to
have the experience repeated. The Central American whin-
tosser is always looking for trouble or making it. In fact the
beast seems to be constructed for the purpose of passing
through unusual experiences. Its head is fastened to its body
by a swivel neck ; so is its short, tampering tail ; and both can be
spun around at the rate of a hundred revolutions a minute.
The body is long and triangular, with three complete sets of
legs ; this is a great convenience in an earthquake country,
since the animal is not disturbed by any convulsions of the
earth. If the floor suddenly becomes the ceiling it does not
matter, for the whintosser is always there with the legs. Its
hair is bristly, and all slants forward at a sharp angle. It has
been found that a cat's nine lives are as nothing to the one
possessed by a whintosser. This animal may be shot, clubbed,
or strung on a pike pole without stopping the wriggling, whirling motions or the screams of rage. The only successful way
of killing the beast is to poke it into a flume pipe so that all its
feet strike the surface, when it Immediately starts to walk in
three different directions at once and tears itself apart.
John Gray, of Anadar, Trinity County, California, knows
where a pair of whintossers live in some broken-up country
along Mad River.