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The Billdad is an unusual cryptid that is found in the legends, folklore, and stories of the lumberjack communities in Maine, United States.

Cryptid Name:Billdad
Location:Boundary Pond, northwest Maine, USA
Map of where the Billdad is found
Category:Folklore Cryptid
Description:Resembles a beaver with long hind legs, short front legs, webbed feet, and a hawk-like bill. Known for its unique fishing technique involving leaps and tail smacks to stun and catch fish.
Size:Approximately the size of a beaver.
Behavior/Characteristics:Shy, hard to catch, incredible leaping ability, known to leap past fish to stun them with its tail before eating them.
Diet:Predominantly a fish-eater, it preys on fish that surface for bugs in the water.
Habitat/Environment:Exclusive to Boundary Pond in Hurricane Township, typically found near the water’s edge.
Evidence:Mostly anecdotal evidence and local folklore, no scientific or concrete evidence supporting its existence.
Sightings and Encounters:Reported sightings by locals, particularly those who frequent Boundary Pond at night.
Skepticism/Explanations:Many doubt the existence of the Billdad due to the lack of scientific evidence. Some suggest that it might be a local legend or misidentification of known animals.

What Does The Billdad Look Like?

Billdad Picture
Artist’s Impression of the Billdad

The Billdad is described as being about the same size as a beaver with hind legs that are long and often compared to those of a kangaroo. And just like a kangaroo, it also has short front legs.

It has webbed feet similar to those of many aquatic animals so it is said to swim well.

What makes the Billdad even more unusual is that it has a hawk-like bill that it uses in combination with its big hind legs to help it fish.

Legends Of The Billdad

The Billdad is featured in a book called, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts” by William Thomas Cox which is a collection of lumberjack folklore and legends from the 19th and 20th centuries.

If you have ever paddled around Boundary Pond, in northwest Maine, at night you have probably heard from out the black depths of a cove a spat like a paddle striking the water. It may have been a paddle, but the chances are ten to one that it was a billdad fishing.

This animal occurs only on this one pond, in Hurricane Township. It is about the size of a beaver, but has long, kangaroo-like hind legs, short front legs, webbed feet, and a heavy, hawk-like bill. Its mode of fishing is to crouch on a grassy point overlooking the water, and when a trout rises for a bug, to leap with amazing swiftness just past the fish, bringing its heavy, flat tail down with a resounding smack over him. This stuns the fish, which is immediately picked up and eaten by the billdad. It has been reported that sixty yards is an average jump for an adult male.

Up to three years ago the opinion was current among lumber jacks that the billdad was fine eating, but since the beasts are exceedingly shy and hard to catch no one was able to remember having tasted the meat. That fall one was killed on Boundary Pond and brought into the Great Northern Paper Company’s camp on Hurricane Lake, where the cook made a most savory slumgullion of it.

The first (and only) man to taste it was Bill Murphy, a tote-road swamper from Ambegegis. After the first mouthful his body stiffened, his eyes glazed, and his hands clutched the table edge. With a wild yell he rushed out of the cook-house, down to the lake, and leaped clear out fifty yards, coming down in a sitting posture—exactly like a billdad catching a fish. Of course, he sank like a stone. Since then not a lumber jack in Maine will touch billdad meat, not even with a pike pole.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods
Billdad Sketch
Sketch of the Billdad
Source: Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

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