Day 84: Monsters of the Ozarks: The High-Behind and Kingdoodle


Many of the Ozark monsters come in the form of giant reptiles, like the gowrow. One other is the high-behind, an interesting monster that lurks in the Ozark wilderness. Vance Randolph says of the high-behind:

“One hears tales also of the high-behind, a man-eating lizard as big as a bull, with enormous hind legs. In Taney County, Missouri, one of my friends learned that the sheriff had a warrant for his arrest, so he ran off to California. Some of this man’s kinfolk said later that he unthoughtedly walked up the Bear Creek road at midnight, and was not seen thereafter. They found a few drops of blood and some mighty peculiar ‘sign’ in the trail next day, so they ‘figgered the high-behind must have got poor Sam.’ Or at least that’s what they told the authorities, and never cracked a smile in the telling.”

Otto Ernest Rayburn’s description of the monster is similar:

“The high-behind was a lizard as large as a buffalo with its hind legs about ten times as long as its front ones. It could ‘lap a man up like a toad-frog ketchin’ flies.’”

Another reptile of unusual size mentioned by Randolph is called the kingdoodle:

“The kingdoodle is another big reptile, doubtless related to the gowrow, the jimplicute and the high-behind. One of my old neighbors in McDonald County, Missouri, told his children that the kingdoodle looks like an ordinary mountain boomer, except for its great size. The mountain boomer or collared lizard seldom attains a length of more than ten inches, while the kingdoodle is ‘longer’n a wellrope, an’ fourteen hands high.’ It is strong enough to tear down fences and pull up saplings, but is not bloodthirsty. Near Jane, Missouri, my wife and I stopped to look at a small building which had fallen off its stone foundation and rolled into a ditch. Probably a high wind was responsible, but a little boy who lived nearby didn’t think so. ‘I reckon the old kingdoodle must have throwed it down, in the night,’ he said soberly.”


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