Back in the hollers lived an old woodsman in a one-room cabin with his three dogs. After a day of hunting, the old man finds only a small rabbit to feed himself and his three dogs. Still hungry, the old woodsman begins to doze off. Just as he is about to fall asleep, the awfulest critter he ever did see in his life creeps through a crack between the logs in the wall. The old man cuts off the creature’s long tail, cooks and eats it, and goes to bed with a full stomach.
He is awakened several times throughout the night when the strange creature comes looking for its tail. Finally, the furry creature sneaks into the old man’s bed, and tears the man all to pieces. Nothing remains of the old man’s house except the chimney. At night, when the moon shines and the wind blows, you can hear a voice say: ‘Tailypo, tailypo, now I’ve got my tailypo.’
— Appalachian children’s folktale