October 22, 2014

I haven't got your tailypo

A creature of North American legend, Tailypo is described as the size of a dog with red eyes and a long tail. The legend of Tailypo is popular in the Appalachia region of the United States. One version of the story is as follows.

One night a man is hunting with his three dogs in search of something to eat. During the search, the man sees a small creature with bright eyes and a long tail. The man quickly cuts-off the creature’s tail, causing the creature to scream and flee into the darkness. The man returns to his home and makes a stew out of the tail.

As the man is about to fall asleep, a rustling and clawing sound awakens him. At the end of his bed, the man sees the eyes of Tailypo starring at him. In a demonic voice, the creature demands the return of its tailypo. The terrified man calls for his dogs, which chase the creature away, but only two of the dogs return.

The man tries to sleep again, but soon awakes to see the creature more forcefully demanding its tailypo. The man sends his dogs after the creature, once again forcing it into the night but leaving only one dog to return. This time the man decided to grab his gun and wait at the end of the bed with his one remaining dog. When the creature returns, the man sends his last dog to send the creature away but the dog does not return.

The man is now left cowering in the corner praying for dawn. Hours before daybreak he hears the familiar rustling sound, hoping it is one of his dogs returning. Tailypo leaps into the room and disarms the man as the creature looks into the man’s eyes demanding the return of its tailypo.

The terrified man finds the courage to reply, "I haven't got your tailypo!” hoping the creature will leave. The creature is enraged by the man’s response and yells back "Yes, you have! Yes, you have!" and jumps back on the bed, mutilating the man and destroying the cabin.

Stories like this were often told by soldiers and civilians alike during the War of 1812 as a way to deal with fears in the form of entertainment. This tradition continues today with Halloween tours taking place at Old Fort Erie, Fort George, and Drummond Hill Cemetery. Click here to find out more about these events.

No comments:

Post a Comment