The Wamp - [Fearsome Critter]
• About This Critter: Described as an ‘odd grey creature about the size of a raccoon & shaped sorta like a sack with a “salt shatter” for a tail’ – a creature with pure hearted intentions: it loves nothing more than shaking its tail against trees, attracting deer who love to lick it up.. unknown to the well-intentioned wamp: Hunters would track it for easy deer meat.
• History: Yet another Fearsome Critter from Yarns of the Big Woods [1922.] -the Wamp may get its name from the Scottish meaning of the word, "Wample" which means “to shake, or wiggle” which may refer to its tail, since it sprinkles salt from it.
The included short story goes as follows:
“How’s the deer hunting this year?” asked the new arrival at camp importantly, as he leaned on his shiny new gun and looked proudly down at his well pressed, unspotted hunting suit.
The old guide looked him over slowly before he drawled, “Pretty good. Pretty good. And I’ve seen the tracks of a wamp around here lately, too, and that means more deer than ever. Yes. sir!”
“The wamp?” asked the newcomer politely.
“Every deer hunter knows about the Wamp,” replied the guide witheringly, “He’s about the size of a coon, with a gray body, shaped like a salt sack and a hollow tail with a salt shaker on the end of it.”
“A salt shatter?” repeated the tenderfoot doubtfully.
“Sure. Don’t you know how crazy deer are about salt. Well, the wamp goes around shaking salt at the roots of trees every few miles, and the deer lick it up and run to tell their friends about it.”
The hunter looked at the guide thoughtfully, but the old woodsman, with solemn face, was looking out across the bronzed woods, as though at any minute one of his weird animals might come slinking in between the I tall trees, or peer at them from behind a flaming bush.
- it was then elaborated on further by readers of the Idaho statesman in 1923, who go on to describe a "wamp attack." [part 1.] [Part 2.]
Similar critters: although it shares a similar name, it is unknown if 'the wamp' is at all related to wampus cats. (though, it feels quite likely.)
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Fearsome Critters sticker collection, weather resistant 4" sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!