Finned Fiend of St. Augustine

The following is an interesting story sent to me anonymously


A long-time aquaintance, the noted outdoorsman and adventurer

Wm.”Hawk-Bill” James asked Me to share this account of one of His

experiences. You’re probably wondering why He didn’t do it Himself to lend

first-hand credibility to the story. To understand you have to know a couple

things about the man. Bill is reclusive by nature and having spent much of

His life in the shadowy places of the deep wilderness He’s more comfortable

among the strange animals He pursues than among people. Few people know

who He is, much less what He does. There may not be a living soul that knows

anything more about Him than I do, and I’ve already told you most of that. The

fact is, you’ll hear the story from Me or not at all.

That said, here is the account as Bill related it to Me. Sometime within

the last year or so, Bill doesn’t keep close track of time, while wading along in

the Intra-caostal waterway near St. Augustine in search of shark teeth and

arrow heads Bill felt a gentle bumping on the back of His legs. He didn’t think

anything of it since dozens of small fish did this every time He dug into the

bottom sending up a cloud of sand and silt. He’d been at it most of the morning

when He stopped to drink from His canteen. Looking down into the shallow water

He noticed that there weren’t any fish nearby. Just then His leg was bumped and

bitten. Startled Bill spun around, dropping the canteen, to see what had hold of Him.

His movement dislodged the creature’s jaws, which He said held teeth like sandpaper

not fangs. There before Him was an animal unlike any He’d seen before. About

two feet in length and half that in height, green scales so dark they were nearly black,

rows of spines top and bottom, with bulbous black eyes. The thing swam in a wide circle

then darted at His legs again in a flash, this time the rough teeth drew blood. Once

more it circled out. Bill was ready, He’d pulled His .38 revolver from it’s holster and

lined up the sights, as the beast charged He fired. The slug passed through His floating

canteen then on into the beast, shattering a tall spine behind the head and killing it.

Bill weighed the creature when He got home and it tipped the scales at six and a half


He cooked the meat off the bones and glued the skeleton together, making the

display pictured below. Clearly visible is the missing second dorsal spine.


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