Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 1, 2013

You’ll know it immediately because of its ugliness

I recently read in the Republican and Cumberland Times-News that “FSU’s Cultural Events series kicks off season with Squonk Opera’s Astrorama.”

Very interesting name, “Squonk.”

Few readers realize that the Squonk is a rare and endangered species in these parts.

It is described in the seminal compendium of “creatures of the wild” entitled “Fearsome Critters” by the noted ethrozodogist Henry Tryon (whose veracitude is unquestioned) who in 1939 first described the Squonk (Lacrimacorpus dissolvers) as “probably the homeliest animal in the world and knows it. It is most retiring, bashful, crepuscular animal garbed in a loose-fitting, warty, singularly ill-fitting skin.”

It’s call is a mournful wailing and it sheds bountiful tears because of its ugliness.

Old growth hemlock stands are its desired habitat, which were largely removed from this region beginning in the mid-1800s.

It was last reported in the Swallow Falls Sate Park area in the early 1900s. However, since some hemlock regrowth has occurred it could be returning to its native haunts.

A word of caution, if one happens to trap a Squonk and attempts to transport it in a gunny sack to show off to the home folks; once in the sack it dissolves into a teary mess.

I am presently composing a descriptives list of such creatures so that unwary travelers in the wild hereabouts do not suddenly confront them and suffer a heart attack or, worse yet, become a victim of an attacking creature.

There are more than cougars out there, so be careful!

Paul Shogren

Oakland

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Editorial Cartoon Editorial Cartoon

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Decriminalizing marijuana lines pockets of drug cartel

    Has the Maryland government decided they like contributing to the drug cartel? Their new decriminalization of marijuana does nothing but line the pockets of the cartel.

    April 11, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo