Columbia river Sand Squink - [fearsome critter] - (Latin: Anguillamvorax coruscens)
• About this critter: A Nocturnal hunter, native to the coast along the course of the Columbia River: beginning in the Rocky Mountains near British Columbia down through Washington (ending in Oregon & the pacific ocean.) The Sand Squink was mainly observed by prospectors, hunters & sheep farmers in the early mornings when it came down from the mountains to feed on electric eels that where native to the river at the time. The creature was said to be "Built somewhat on the lines of a coyote, somewhat on the pattern of a bobcat, but with long ears like a jack-rabbits. (its has also been described as somewhat "fox-like") The tail is long and bushy, and is carried recurved along the back the same as a squirrel’s." - its a monotreme, meaning that it nests and lays eggs, witch have a sturdy Bakelite shell. - it discharges electricity the surges which mesmerize & enchant unweary prospectors, who it leads into the bush and are never seen again...
• History: ...yet another Critter included in Fearsome Critters by Henry H Tyron [1939.] the entry goes as follows:
"Of limited distribution, but possessing most unusual characteristics. Reported to date only by prospectors, hunters and sheep-herders in the remote mountains of Washington. Built somewhat on the lines of a coyote, somewhat on the pattern of a bobcat, but with ears like a jack-rabbit. The tail is long and bushy, and is carried recurved along the back the same as a squirrel’s.
A nightly prowler. Emerges after dark and sinks down to the river to fish. The Squink isn’t particularly fussy about its diet, but has a great fondness for electric eels. Probably on account of their higher pH content. When hungry it is a timid animal. But its courage returns after feeding, and it will then stalk boldly along the mountain trails until it sights a prospector returning from town. Thereupon the Squink will precede its victim by two or three rods, slowly waving its long tail and touching one ear and then the other. The previous few miles of travel on a heavy feed of electric eels generates a substantial charge of static, and these alternating contacts produce a series of brilliant discharges which invariably please and attract the traveler, who follows and is never seen again.
Several nests of this animal have been located and carefully examined. They were all lined with portions of old inner tubes, while the eggs (for the Squink is oviparous) were shelled with bakelite."
• Note: it is unclear what happens to the prospector, or if the Squink actively eats people or not. [Perhaps the two elope.] What is certainly clear however is that the Columbia River no longer has electric eels in it. [never did, 'lectric eels are native to South Africa] perhaps these critters eventually ate their fill & died off, or moved onto brighter pastures, wherever that might be...
•Definition: The dictionary does not yet have a definition for "Squink." - however a few earlier dated books about the English and American language say that it can be defined as either "a sharp metallic sound" it can also be English Slang meaning "to Squink( rub) ones nose when irritated." (aka "Face palming") or even just to "wink!" all of these are quite fitting for the squink, i think.
• Bakelite: was invented in 1907 & was in popular use until the 1940s when modern plastic was introduced and did what It did, but better. - it was often used in electrical insulators, radios and telephone casings, it could be brightly coloured, so, it was also popularly used in jewelry during the hight of the Art Deco movement through the 1930's-40's (it fell out of style after the war.) - Inner tubes are usually made of tire-like rubber, so logically they naturally conduct electricity which I suppose makes a fine nest if any, for a critter that might be prone to discharges.
• In literature: The sand squink gets mentioned in a few later childrens books on the topic of fearsome critters, including 'Curious Critters'  by lauber patricia, 'Gollywhoppers and gilly galloos' [Ennis Rees,1969] it is also listed among cryptids in the 'field guide to north american monsters' [1998.]
Art sticker by samkalensky part of my fearsome critters collection of stickers, check my shop and follow for many more!