01 April 2016

A Fearsome Critter


The majestic Jackalope (Lepus temperamentalus) once roamed the western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Virginia and served as a bountiful meat source for many who lived in the mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Hunted to extinction after the Great Depression, this specimen was killed by my grandfather in the early 1940's and today graces my office.

The females had the odd habit of sleeping belly up and could be milked without waking them. Their milk, besides being quite sweet and delicious, was also used for medicinal purposes. Males could imitate the human voice. Most folks in the Blue Ridge discovered early on that Jackalopes were fond of moonshine and could be easily hunted down by simply leaving a mason jar full of white lightning out on the porch, enticing the hapless creatures and resulting in their intoxication, thereby making them easy prey. But, sober, they could be quite aggressive if cornered and were known to occasionally run in packs and attack animals many times their size, including humans, thus earning them the description of "a fearsome critter."

6 comments:

Jubilo said...

Dear Old Dom.,
April Fool's to you too.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

You're a sharp one, you are.

Mark Snell said...

That was pretty lame, Richard. Everyone knows that the Waltons over-hunted them during the depression, which led to their extinction. This happened long before the Sierra Club, PETA and Green Peace were founded, or the little critters still would be in abundance today. Good night, John-boy.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Ha!

ropelight said...

My grandfather had a pair of Hoopsnakes trained to locate Jackalopes and herd them downhill into makeshift corrals. While he was in France during the 1st WW the snakes got loose and went feral. After he came home he walked the Blue Ridge from the Forks of Buffalo to the Peaks of Otter looking for them snakes, and later he worked for the CCC building the BR Parkway, he found lots of Minie Balls and Indian arrow heads, but never caught sight of them snakes again, although other CCC workers told of being chased downhill by Hoopsnakes working in tandem.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I believe Hoopsnakes are listed on the endangered species list.