Griddle Greaser Pete. (Latin: Arvinaporcus lakeshorekearni)
•About this Critter: ‘Here comes good ol’ Greaser Pete slippin’ & slidin’, a fine flapjack he did make, on bacon he did skate!” - it’s a far lesser known short yearn about a wee Pig-man that Paul Bunyan found, stapled bacon to its feet & made skate atop of his gigantic stove top Pancake griddle...
• History: Yet another 'fearsome critter' included among Art Childs: 'Yarns of the Big Woods' (Published 1922-1925 across several newspapers.) - Greaser Petes story goes as follows:
“Fine griddle cakes,” said the stranger, as he filled up his plate with another stack. "Ever’time I eat griddle cakes, though. I get kind of lonesome for the West, where I knocked around when I was a young fellow. I get to thinkin’ of my cow-punchin’ friend and his Griddlegreaser Pete.”
“Griddlegreaser Pete?” asked the old guide, who had been filling the stranger full of queer yarns the entire evening before. “Well, now that’s a queer name. Who might he be?”
“He was a cross between a pig and goodness-knows-what. My friend found him when wanderin’ around the ranch one day, and he trained, him and put him to work.”
“You see, my friend was a big fellow, even for out West where men are men. And as big as my friend was, his appetite for griddle cakes was bigger. He ate them down so fast it would make you dizzy.”
“He had a special-made griddle so’s he could fry a whole stack of his fav’rite cakes at once. And that’s where the animal came in. My friend fastened a slab of bacon to each of his hind feet and taught him to go skating over the griddle, so’s to grease it up right. When he’d gone all over the griddle—and he could do it in less time than it takes me to tell you—he would rest in a cool corner until the batch of cakes had been fried. Then he’d hop onto the griddle and set to work again.”
...This ones dark for a couple of reasons (aside from the obvious implied potential cannibalism) -the "cow punchin' friend" is quite obviously Paul Bunyan… in the context of Paul Bunyan, The original “griddle greasers” where usually either children but also often called the camp “flunkies” and where rather unfortunately often depicted as, well, lets just say ‘products of their time’ - [for a more nuanced explanation google: “Paul Bunyan racism”] -
[1922 W. B. Laughead image source]
[Map 1935 image source]
...I personally to think Greaser Pete was perhaps an effort to steer away from that sorry bit of illustrated folklore? (Perhaps not.) - Fortunately: these depictions are far and few between and folklore does change over time, Paul’s gigantic griddle eventually did become popular as a skating rink for all! Appearing as the sight for contests and other sports in later illustrated entries.
pete Is also popular among yokai artists as well, in recent years he’s made a few appearances in Japanese bestiaries, they call him a “breakfast fairy!” Which is very cute 🥰
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my fearsome critters sticker collection, weather resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!