October 26, 2008

Legend of the Wampus cat

Pet Talk:  ‘Cute little stray’ a terror?They say that the Wampus cat used to be a beautiful Indian woman, who always had to stay at home when the men of her tribe went on hunting trips. One day the Indian woman secretly followed her husband when he went off hunting with the other men. She hid herself behind a rock, clutching the hide of a mountain cat around her to keep warm, and she spied on the men as they sat around their campfires, telling sacred stories and doing magic.

According to the laws of the tribe, it was forbidden for a woman to hear the sacred stories and see any of the tribal magic. Of course, the Indian woman was eventually discovered and she was punished by the medicine man, who bound her into the mountain-cat skin she wore and transformed her into a terrible monster—half woman and half cougar. Ever after she was doomed to roam the hills, howling desolately because she so desperately wants to return to her beautiful Indian woman body.

Many years went by, and one night a man was hunting with his dogs, when both dogs whimpered and ran off the path. At that moment, the man was overpowered with a horrible smell, like that of a wet animal that had also bee sprayed by a skunk and then fell into a smelly bog. Then he heard something howl on the path behind him and when he whirled around, he was so scared, he dropped his rifle. His heart was pounding with fear as he found himself staring into the big, glowing eyes of the Wampus cat. The creature had huge fangs dripping with saliva and it looked like a mountain lion, but was walking upright like a man. And then it howled again and the man screamed in terror.

The man leapt backward and ran as fast as he could through the woods, with the Wampus cat close behind. He fled to the home of a friend who lived nearby and burst through the door with the monster only a bit behind. The door was slammed in the face of the Wampus cat and immediately the creature began to attack the door. Both men grabbed the Bible and began reading aloud. Upon hearing the holy words, the Wampus cat howled in pain and frustration and abandoned its attack on the house, finding its way back into the woods. The man spent the rest of the night at his friend’s house—when he went home at daybreak, he found his dogs huddled in the barn, still shaking with fear. Needless to say, the man and his dog never went hunting after dark again.
Comment:  One shouldn't confuse a Wampus cat with a campus clown, wampum belt, or rumpus room.

There have been movies about Wendigos, manitous, Sasquatch and Bigfoot, Deer Woman, and skinwalkers. Where are all the movies about Wampus cats?

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.


dmarks said...

Don't forget the underwater panther, and and the thunderbird.

Rob said...

I've heard of underwater monsters and thunderbirds, but not an underwater panther. Thanks for the info.