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
  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014