The Snow Wassett – A Fearsome Critter

Fearsome Critter: a tall tale animal said to inhabit the wilderness in or around logging camps in North America.

The Snow Wassett

“There was a fearsome story told in the logging camps of the North about a creature known as the snow wasset. The snow wasset was almost forty times the size of a normal wolverine and just as angry. The creature was short, with four legs, and during the summer months, it had green fur. It lived and hibernat­ed near the Canadian cranberry marshes. Once winter arrived, the animal turned pure white, shed its appendages, and traveled south, burrowing through packed snow until it reached the areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan.

As the snow wasset traveled, his body stretched. He became faster be­neath the snow. Slick and smooth, he would sneak up on his prey and yank it beneath a snowdrift before the innocent animal could detect his pres­ence. The snow wassett feasted on rabbits, grouse, possum, and badgers, but he was not opposed to larger game. Even a man would suffice if he was hungry enough. The storyteller would go on talk about men who went missing only to be found in the spring under snowdrifts because the snow wassett had pulled them under.

The lumberjack might end the tale with something like, “The only way to kill a snow wasset is to set a trap. Since the critter’s body is so long, nobody knows exactly what direction he will travel.” New guys would be sent out to set traps as a way of hazing. These stories were another form of competition, to see who could tell the most fearsome tale. Over the years, fake footprints became a favorite hoax, along with tales of giant wild men.”

Snow Wassett in The Legend of Bigfoot

This piece was excerpted from The Legend Of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark On the World. What does the snow wassett have to do with Bigfoot you might ask? Well, The Legend of Bigfoot is about the rise of the Bigfoot culture. The snow wassett is one of the more complete tales that give us an example of the lumberjack’s motivation. Loggers were convincing story tellers. True or not, by presenting the public with the first casted footprints in 1958, they were instrumental in setting Bigfoot’s popularity in motion.

Have you ever heard of the snow wassett?
Do you have a favorite fearsome critter?

If you like North American tales, check out this blog post about Johnny Appleseed and what he has in common with the Albatwitch. You can also find more fearsome critter and creature designs here.

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