I started looking into these legends about the ozark howler a long time ago now. Was it 1993? Anyway, it was before this whole Internet thing got big, but we did have the old papers in the library still - what I call the Old Internet, if you know what I mean.
Well, it makes me just sick to see what some people have tried to do with the ozark howler, tried to shape it into their own ideas of what makes sense. I can't just let them have their way with the truth.
Myth 1: The ozark howler is a cat. No it aint! Just talk to anyone from around here. These researchers try to say it's a lynx mutant or something. Ever seen a lynx 3 feet at the shoulder? We hunt around here, you know? Not like those people writing the books on the Ozark Howler now in NYC. We know our animals. This ozark howler thing is something very, very different.
Myth 2: The ozark howler hasn't been seen since the 1940s, and is probably extinct. All I have to say to this one is that people ought to remember that woodpecker they thought was extinct was living right here in Arkansas the whole damned time. These people ought to just start looking for the ozark howler instead of doing all their talking. Talk to the people who are from around here, and when I say from around here, I don't mean from Conway and all those other suburbs where the only wildlife is Krispy Kreme! There's been plenty of sightings recent, a spat in the 80s, and then, odd enough, after 9-11.
Myth 3: The ozark howler is just an old Indian story. Go ahead and ask one of them folklorists. The Indians didn't talk about no ozark howler. This is something that moved in after the Indians moved out, if you know what I mean.