Come-At-A-Body - [Fearsome Critter] - latin: (Quadrupes inprovisus) Also known as the 'Jump-At-A-Body.' for ease of description, will abbreviate it to "CAAB"
• About this critter: The "CAAB" is a small, woodland creature found only in the White Mountains near New Hampshire, Southern Maine. Reported to only be about the size of a woodchuck, but with the velvety fur of a kitten (with an attitude many times its own size.) it rushes or jumps out at creatures much larger than itself from the underbush. stopping just a few inches away before retreating just as quickly. – it never fails to startle its victims. – Despite the tiny creature's attitude, it is a herbivorous mammal & does not harm those who encounter it, it seems to delight in making them jump! – A strong mink-like scent is thrown and the CAAB rushes away!
• History: Another critter which was earliest described, illustrated and included in Henry H Tryons "fearsome critters' [1939.] - the short description goes as follows:
"THE COME-AT-A-BODYQuadrupes inprovisusReported by Mr. B.B. Bickford of Gorham, N.H. Not found outside the White Mountains. A short, stubby, rather small animal resembling a Woodchuck but having very soft, velvety, kitten-like, fur. Harmless, but surprising. Has the terrifying habit of suddenly rushing directly at you from the brush, then stopping only a few inches away and spitting like a cat. A strong mink-like scent is thrown and the Come-at-a-Body rushes away."
Earlier in the books preface tyron gives thanks to Bickford as "the veteran guide of Gorham, N. H., who has generously laid his years of experience in the White Mountains" - the man does not seem to be mentioned in any news articles or literature from the area at the time (at least that i can find online) so it was likely an account told to Tyron personally. - The mans name pops up in a couple of local annual reports [1914-1925] apparently one B.B Bickford of Groahm New Hampshrire was a municipality officer in the area: the books list his liabiity insurance on record at least. But sadly, any other information about the man is scarce and theres not much more information can be found about him online today.
According to some more recent reports from the area; [see: Mythical creatures of maine, Chris Packard, 2021] the creature is described as "a small creature with a flat face, Huge eyes, bright green whiskers & a 'dollar sign-like' pattern on its back or belly, Males have a hardened ball like tail." - (see also: Splinter cat, Dingmaul) - According to chris, a well known local guide named "Joe Dodge" once told him that the creatures legs can grow lopsided for better manuevering on the hillsides. (see also: sidehill gouger.)
[the sign from white mountains national forest where the creature supposedly resides.]
The description of a "harmless, yet brave/hazardous 'small stubby legged unkown creature' that comes at you from nowhere" also brings to mind the yokai known as "sunekosuri." so I gave it a similar color scheme.
Art Sticker by @Samkalensky part of my fearsome critters collection of stickers. follow and support me on patreon for more~!