Legends and Lore: The Wapaloosie
Not all cryptids and urban legends are scary monstrous creatures. Some are kind of cute and cuddly! Take the Wapaloosie for example. The Wapaloosie is said to be a small, woodland creature that lives in the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest and into the Midwest. Lumberjacks have told stories of cutting down trees with Wapaloosies hiding in the branches.
The Wapaloosie is roughly the size of a dachshund and a little pudgy. It has feet like a woodpecker to help it climb trees with ease and agility. Its tail is spiked to help it hold to branches. Its fur is said to be incredibly soft and supple.
The Wapaloosie is a gentle creature that eats mushrooms and spends its days climbing to the tops of the trees. Wapaloosies are not just your typical tree dweller, however. Their fur and hides are said to contain magical properties.
The Lumberjack and the Wapaloosie
A lumberjack once killed a Wapaloosie in his logging camp. As he examined his kill, he noticed the fur was extremely soft and would make a comfortable pair of gloves. The lumberjack skinned the animal and made himself a new pair of logging gloves. When he put the gloves on and grabbed his axe, the gloves moved on their own, climbing to the top of the axe. Anything the lumberjack grabbed, the gloves would move themselves to the top of the object. The lumberjack quickly got annoyed and threw the gloves to the ground. The gloves picked themselves up and ran out of the camp and into the trees, never to be seen again.
So now that we know what a Wapaloosie was thought to be, what could it really be? One theory suggests that Wapaloosies are nothing more than squirrels. Squirrels tend to have fluid like movements when observed from far away. Squirrels can also climb and run up trees and along branches very quickly. Early lumberjacks could have easily mistaken a fast, dark fur colored squirrel as something else.
Wapaloosies could be a whole new species of animal entirely. The Pacific Northwest contains vast, dense forests that any manner of creature could be hiding in. For example, Bigfoot is said to roam the Pacific Northwest and he has yet to be captured. A small, squirrel like creature would easily go unnoticed.
Myth or Squirrel
No matter if the Wapaloosie is a squirrel with a mistaken identity or a cryptid creature, these elusive little animals keep lumberjacks and forest loving folk on their toes.
© 2019 Lindsey Burek