Hey there, and welcome my new story. Well, it's actually a collection of stories...scary stories, that is. I got inspired by Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark trilogy from the 80s and early 90s, as well as the Chilling Tales For Dark Nights story channel on YouTube, as well as maybe a few creepypastas on YouTube. With all the craziness in the world today, I figured I might as well write stuff to keep myself occupied.

This first tale tells of an Appalachian legend, a creature with a very long tail and a hunter who aroused its anger.

Publishing Date: April 17, 2021

WARNING: Plenty of these stories can be pretty violent, and some may be pretty scary. Reading discretion is advised.

...

The Tailypo

A hunter lived in the mountain forests of Tennessee all by himself. His only company were his three hunting dogs: American foxhounds named Larry, Curly, and Moe. The hunter himself wasn't a man who really got along with anyone, but that suited him fine; he had even moved away from the city to be alone. Since he lived by himself in the woods, he hunted for his food, clothing, and tools, and he liked it that way. He also liked to eat a lot, his favorite foods being rabbit, deer, turkey, and even skunk.

One day, while he and the dogs went hunting for turkeys, the dogs spotted something by some trees and ran over to bark at it. They were digging at the dirt, trying to get whatever was in the hole under the roots. Moe grabbed a hold of the creature's tail, which was long and black and very bushy.

"Outta the way, Moe!" the hunter commanded. "Don't want you gettin' shot!"

Moe pulled at the tail some more, but just enough to be out of the way. The hunter took one aim and shot at it, the bullet cutting the thing's tail off. Suddenly, whatever was in the hole let out an unearthly squeal before it broke off its tail and slipped away, deeper into the hole. The hunter ran over and spotted the creature's long furry tail gripped tight in Moe's teeth; he had shot off the creature's tail just before the base. He got the tail out and took it and his dogs back to his cabin.

There, he stripped the fur off of the tail, set it on a pan on the stove, and cooked it while adding his favorite seasonings. It was cooked medium, just the way he liked it, and he ate it along with some potatoes and fried corn (seldom he went to town, and that was to buy food grown from crops). As for the dogs, they had some cooked pheasant meat that he had been storing away, as well as cornbread. Once everyone had eaten and night had come, the hunter put out the fire and got into bed, and the dogs crawled under the mattress.

He had not gone to bed long before he was woken by something. Something was scratching at the wood on the outside of the cabin wall. At first, he thought that it was a curious raccoon or opossum. Then something seemed to be whispering to him from outside, a high and raspy voice.

"Where...is...tailypo?" the scary voice growled. "Give me back tailypo!"

At once, the hunter called his dogs from under his bed. "Get that varmint!" he yelled as he ran to the door and opened it. The three dogs got up and chased the creature out of the window, where it disappeared into the night. Satisfied, the hunter let them back in and went back to sleep.

Around three in the morning, the hunter was having trouble sleeping. Then he heard the door open and the hissing voice again. It said almost the same thing before: "Give me back tailypo!"

The hunter jumped and called for the dogs, "Get that varmint!" As he got out of bed and opened the door, the dogs jumped out from beneath the bed and chased the creature off into the night. Once they were out of the house, the hunter ran over and slammed the door shut, believing that the dogs wouldn't need to keep running in and out of the house. He sighed with relief and went off to bed.

Just before the sky could turn light from dawn, he thought he heard the front window crack. As soon as he lifted his nose out of the blanket, he heard the voice again. "Tailypo. Where is it?" it hissed. "Give me tailypo!"

The hunter called for his dogs a third time, "Get that varmint!" But this time, they didn't answer. He was afraid that the creature lured them into the forest and killed them. Without his dogs, he hid under the blanket, trying to hide himself even more, trying to ignore the creature approaching him. The next time he lifted his head out, his heart nearly stopped.

It was a spooky creature, about half the size of his dogs. It looked like either a big house cat or a mutated bobcat, with pitch-black fur, glowing yellow cat-like eyes, and long ears like a hare except with tufts of fur. It had big flat hind paws like that of a bear, and there was a stump where its long furry tail used to be. It was now sitting on its bed, looking like a cat watching a canary.

"Where is tailypo?" the creature growled as it was close to him. "You haves it. Where. Is. Precious. TAILYPO?"

The hunter couldn't take it anymore. With a loud cry, he hollered, "ALL RIGHT, FINE! I ate your stinkin' tailypo!" But that was the last thing he ever said before the creature tore him to pieces.

When morning came, friends of the hunter walked through the forest, seeing that he was late for their hunting. As they walked on, they had found the hunter's three dogs, running around and sniffing the air. Their master wasn't with them, and they were scared and hungry but nonetheless unharmed.

Just then, the hunters heard a voice hissing in the trees, "Tailypo is back! My precious tailypo!"

At this, the three dogs yelped and hid behind the hunters, shivering in fright. The hunters themselves went pale with fear and ran back to town with the dogs.

So no one ever heard from the hunter ever again, and his dogs were given to his brother. Every night, people would often hear the owls hooting, the raccoons chittering, and the crickets chirping as they usually do. But if they listen hard enough, they'll hear a new sound adding its voice to the night: "Tailypo!"