Book Details + Condition: The Idlewild Press (Cornwall Press, NY). Very scarce First Edition, 1939. Inscribed and signed by the author, Henry H. Tryon: "To many (?) McBride - who puts on a damned good show." Hardcover with original dust jacket. 68 pages, with wonderful illustrations by the author's wife, Margaret Ramsay Tryon. Fearsome critters were an integral part of oral tradition in North American lumber camps during the turn of the 20th century, principally as a means to pass time (as in tall tales) or as a jest for hazing newcomers. In a typical fearsome critter gag, a person would casually remark about a strange noise or sight they encountered in the wild; subsequently, another accomplice would join in. Meanwhile an eavesdropper would begin to investigate, as Henry H. Tryon recorded in his book, Fearsome Critters. "Lumberjacks, who regularly traveled between camps, would stop to swap stories in time spreading these myths around the continent. Many fearsome critters were simply the products of pure exaggeration; while a number however, were used either seriously or jokingly as explanations for unexplained phenomenon. For example the hidebehind served to account for loggers who failed to return to camp, while the treesqueak offered justification for strange noises heard in the woods. A handful mirrored descriptions of actual animals. The Mangrove killifish, which takes up shelter in decaying branches after leaving the water, exhibits similarities to the upland trout, a mythical fish purported to nest in trees. In addition, the story of the fillyloo, about a mythical crane that flies upside-down, may have been inspired by observations of the Wood Stork, a bird that has been witnessed briefly flying in this manner. In particular instances more elaborate ruses were created using taxidermy or trick photography." In very good condition: Tight binding; lightly rubbed corners and edges; fading to areas of boards and spine; normal age-toning to pages; interior is clean and free of markings save author's inscription on front free endpaper. Dust jacket is protected with a mylar cover, and has age darkening and chipping to bottom back and small area on spine edge.