American folk legend about a giant cat-like creature that stalks the woods at night. In the original legend, an old Hermit hunter shoots it, misses, and instead ends up shooting its tail off. Tailypo is startled and manages to escape. Satisfied with the tail, the hunter takes it home to make stew out of it. Later that night Tailypo manages to break into his home. Tailypo jumps on the man’s bed and asks where it’s “tailypo” is. The man, scared shitless, answers that he ate it. Tailypo is enraged, and as an act of vengeance claws the man’s stomach out and destroys his house to rubble.
In some children’s versions the hunter only loses his house, but most versions include a hunting dog that also dies in the scuffle. Other versions also have the legend last for a few days rather than one night, where the hunter is stalked by the creature every night, but the basic story is still the same.
First time I heard it as a kid I was living in Alabama and it scared the absolute shit out of me since my grandma’s house was right in front of a huge plot of woods.
It’s easy to imagine horror and folklore legends from other countries miles away, but the local stuff freaks me out.