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Odd Fauna of Adair County

By JIM

Odd Fauna of Adair County: skinny snakes, fighting fowl, cryptocritters, and others. A sampling of odd critters mentioned in The News 1902-1923. (Some of these reports are best seasoned with several grains of salt.)

  • Mr. Irvin Blair while working the road last Friday, dug up a grubb-worm that had started to turn into a sasefras sprout. He sent it to this office and the sprout was fully an inch long and showed it to be sarsafras. The worm had begun to shrink. The sprout had started out of the worm near the mouth. This may seem strange but it's true and proves the correctness of the contention that grubb-worms produce sarsafras. (March 26, 1902) (Note the imaginative spellings of sassafras!)

  • Dr. W.T. Grissom has exhibited a curiosity at this office in the way of a worm. It is six inches long, one inch in diameter, has horns and fights with its tail. It is the only one of its kind been found in this section and is attracting a great deal of curiosity. (September 20, 1905)

  • Messrs. N.B. Kelsay, H.C. Hudson and O.B. Harvey killed a snake a few days ago that measured nine feet and five inches in length and only 3/4 of an inch in diameter. This was a rather large and peculiar snake, but was not too large nor too peculiar to be killed by these three gentlemen. In fact, we have serious doubts as to whether there could be another trio of gentlemen found in this section who could kill a snake of the above dimensions. (Glensfork newsletter, July 15, 1908.)

    (Footnote to the foregoing bit of serpent news: Did you ever hear of the Great Cabbage Snake Scare of c. 1904-06? The scare was quite real but the cabbage snake itself was of questionable authenticity--or so the Gummint said.........)


  • A new breed of rat has struck this town. Mr. J.A. Young killed one on his premises last Saturday. It was gray and white, the hind legs were three times as long as the fore legs. (June 15, 1910)

  • The other day Mrs. Grider, an aunt of Mr. W.C. Grider of this place, heard her reel going and went to see the cause. A large snake had crawled on the wheel, starting it. The snake could not get off and the neighbors were called in and for several hours watched the very remarkable sight, the snake keeping the wheel going for nearly half a day. (August 11, 1909)

  • The folks on the west prong of Glensfork are ill-at-ease on account of a hideous animal that has recently made an appearance in their midst. And it is not a mere will-o' the wisp or make-believe beast either, for some of the boys have seen it in daytime, and others have gone after it with their dogs, and say that it easily put them to flight.

    Persons who have seen it say it has black hair, a long curling tail and is about as large as an average size dog. We wish it would go away and entertain the people of some other community. (Glensfork newsletter, March 15, 1911)

  • A belled buzzard has been flying over the farm of Mr. S.W. Royse for the past eight or ten days. Mrs. Royse says that he would like for the owner to put it up, as the ringing of the bell brings about confusion, the farm hands not knowing when to come in for dinner. (May 29, 1912).

  • Mr. Milton Hughes caught a fowl of some sort last Sunday, in his field, about the size of a small hen. It was of a dark blue color, beak like a hen, feet like a duck, legs like a crane and eyes as red as a terrapin, and wants to fight all the time. The oldest inhabitants never saw anything like it. (Big Elm newsletter, April 6, 1921)

  • There has been traversing this and adjoining community for the past ten days or more, a ferocious beast or animal. It has been seen by several different persons. The sizes of the animal is something between the size of a cow and a large sheep. It is of dark complexion and has been seen by Sam Baker's son on their farm. Also Pete Grady, of color, on the Wilmore farm. Pete says he certainly saw it on two different occasions, but he kindly gave the road for it and they passed and repassed friendly, without any trouble, whatever. (In the Gradyville newsletter, January 23, 1923.)


This story was posted on 2022-01-24 20:59:16
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