16) The Donnetown Devil

By Manuel Royal
May 28, 2020 · 288 words · 2 minutes


[Excerpt from Deaduns: The Donnetown Devil and Other True Visitations of the Southeast by Rutger Frears (Barrow Press, 1989)]

In 1971 I was in the midst of my postgraduate studies at PPRU. In May of that year, the tracks appeared overnight in the fresh-laid concrete in front of the just-built Cornucopia Market. The store's owner, Marjorie Bundt, insisted on having the affected portions jackhammered and repoured, but before this was done, my contact at the Elegy got ahold of me.

I was down to the place in five minutes. (That first Cornucopia, the chain's flagship store for many years, was a stone's throw from campus. This proved convenient for generations of stoned PPRU undergrads with the munchies.)

I took photographs [facing page] and even got the construction foreman, Albie Grosser, to carve me out a three-foot square piece of the concrete.

Back on campus, in Bosch Perception Lab (in Antoniette Bourignon Hall, before it was moved to its dedicated building off the Quad), I made plaster molds of the tracks. Based on those molds, and as the artist's conception on Page 151 shows, what we were dealing with, what was causing so much mischief in its near-nightly visitations, was a very roughly humanoid creature, one which traveled, with remarkable speed and stealth, by squatting and leaping like an enormous bullfrog.

The indentations in the soft, drying concrete were left by its four-toed webbed feet (digging in as it launched itself with powerful legs), by the grotesquely cartoonish four-fingered pseudo-hands terminating its short forelimbs -- and, surprisingly, by its enormous testicles. The fact that every single set of tracks included these clearly deliniated impressions indicates a ballsack of both heroic proportions and inspiring ruggedness. I always pictured the testes bouncing like street hockey balls in a chamois purse.

Previous Next Chapter