The Tote-Road Shagamaw

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The Tote-Road Shagamaw

Region of origin: New Brunswick, Canada

A satyr-like trickster who lived near the lumber camps around the border of Maine and Canada, the Shagamaw was a figure with forepaws of a bear and hind legs of a moose. He would alternate walking on the two different sets of legs to leave changing tracks to confuse hunters or loggers in nearby camps. The tracks usually continued “for twenty chains,” equal to 440 paces or a quarter mile, before the Shagamaw switched off to the other feet. It was believed he maintained this regular distance because the creature tended to mimic things; similar to how he took on aspects of bears and moose he was copying surveyors he had observed working in quarter-mile increments on the logging camps’ tote-roads that now ran through his territory. Conversely, some said it was because four hundred and forty was as high as he could count.

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