View Full Version : Today's Letter to a Friend

01-19-2011, 09:15 PM

Thanks for the card and the note. When I got home from work on Tuesday I knew something had happened. The dog was walking nervously from one end of the house to the other, whining softly, and wearing a worried look.

I found your envelope and opened it. When I opened the inner envelope, the dog yelped and ran down the steps to the basement.

Animals are more sensitive than we are to threats. Violent electrical storms, earthquakes, floods, ghosts, blizzards, men with guns, hail. Animals know when something is coming, and they get out of the way.

The tuft of hair that you sent is not from a bear. You write that you picked it off a power pole near your cabin, and that the maintenance crew told you that bears have been clawing the poles. The maintenance men donít want you to be alarmed. They want you to keep coming back, and paying the real estate taxes. Itís a poor county, after all.

I have plenty of bear hair from all types of bears. This tuft is from a wendigo.

Wendigos have haunted the Algonquin people for a long time, and also the Ojibway in our own Midwest. There are plenty of reports from Northern Minnesota, and from your adopted Wisconsin. I suppose you knew that the wendigo is the official ďmythicalĒ creature of Wisconsin?

I will not use this hair to tie a fly to ďrival the Horse Flies.Ē Iím happy with my seven trout per hour average with the Red Horse Fly. It took a little while to remember where I learned this, but now I remember. Try to find a copy of ďThe Dead Man of Wendigo Brook,Ē an article or story by Robert F. Jones. I first read it in a magazine; I donít remember which one, in the summer, I think, of 1988. This will give you an idea of the power of wendigo hair as a fly tying material. Jones died eight years ago.

I havenít been doing much tying at the new house. I have a lot of flies for my old streams, and I donít know enough about the new neighborhood to know if I should be stocking up on anything else. The Black and Red Horse Flies should catch some fish, anyway.

Sandra and I were both sick last weekend. I had plans for the weekend, but all I could do was lie around and complain. Then the snow plow driver knocked down our mailbox. I backed the pickup down to the road on Monday with some pieces of 2/4 and a half pound of nails. There was a stub of the wooden post sticking out of the frozen ground under the snow, and I was able to make a Chinese finger handcuffs out of pieces of 2x4 to hold together the stub and the rest of the mailbox post. People drove by slowly and pointed at me. I eventually figured they were pointing at my hat.

Our youngest bought me the hat. Her idea of a joke. Itís one of those big ones with ear flaps that latch together under the chin. The outside of the hat is long, dirty brown fake fur. One woman drove buy and pointed, and I think she said to her kids, ďLook! That raccoon has a hold of some guy by the head!Ē Itís a warm hat, and Iím wearing it.

I found the dog in a closet in the basement. She had burrowed under some boxes of camping gear, cast iron skillets, electric hand tools, and a 220 pound barbell set. She wouldnít come out. I sealed the wendigo tuft in a plastic vitamin pill bottle, and then froze the bottle into the middle of five gallon pail of water. I dragged the pail out to the end of the back pasture. I can see the pail from the dining room, with the field glasses. Finally, I was able to get the dog out from under the boxes. She is badly bruised, but sheís slowly getting her life back. Itís amazing what someone will do for a pet, sometimes.

I have a few months to decide what to do with the wendigo tuft, before the spring thaw. Really, Alan, if you didnít know what it was, Iím glad you sent it to me. Iíll figure something out.

01-20-2011, 02:24 PM
Sweet. So, since your coming in contact with the hair sample, have you had any , um, "different" food cravings? Just wondering...

01-20-2011, 05:58 PM
Nice. All you need now is some el Chupacabra hair. I've been on the hunt for one ever since I read this article last year.


Heard one was spotted in the Avondale area. Of course it may have been mikeytwoshoes.

01-21-2011, 12:23 PM
Sweet. So, since your coming in contact with the hair sample, have you had any , um, "different" food cravings? Just wondering...

Uh, thanks for asking. I haven't noticed anything "different" yet, but if I start to take a new interest in our horses, or the neighbor's sheep, or the neighbor himself, I'll try to journal it.

Nice. All you need now is some el Chupacabra hair. I've been on the hunt for one ever since I read this article last year.

I saw an animal once that I thought was a small wolf with the mange, but then it might have been a Chupacabra. The long coarse hairs along the creature's ridgeline might have been good for bucktails, or wrapped as a body on a nymph. I have a scissors on my pocket knife. I wonder what it would take to get close enough to harvest some of those hairs.