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Leprocaun

During the early days of Upper Canada, before it became the Providence of Ontario, there were brought into a logging camp on the Madawaska River several young leprocauns from the north of Ireland. This animal was even then rare and has since become extinct in its native land. It is said that during the last famine hungry Irishmen killed and ate the few remaining specimens of this queer beast.

On its native bogs the leprocaun was a harmless creature, celebrated for its playfulness and laughable antics. It would hop across the bogs, turn somersaults, and leap over hillocks with wondrous agility. A favorite trick was to bore into a pile of drying peat and then, with a sudden spring, send the clods of peat high in the air till the commotion looked like a young cyclone. These antics were all right enough in Ireland, but when the animal was brought to Canada its disposition changed at once. The pets on the Madawaska escape into nearby tamarack swamps, increasing and spreading until an occasional one was seen on the upper Ottawa and even over in northern Michigan. Sneaking through the tamarack and cedar , or leaping across the muskegs after whatever appealed to it as food, the leprocaun became a creature to be feared and avoided. Teamsters toting supplies across swamp roads have been attacked by the animal, which would bound clear over the load, snapping its teeth at the driver and reaching for him with its villainous claws. Hasty flight to thick timber, leaving the team to its fate, was the only choice of the driver, who thanked his stars that in running through tangled tamarack even the leprocaun is no match for a frightened man. 

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