Billy Engel was a ten-year-old boy who had lived all his life in a city in northern Illinois. One day his parents began thinking that they would like to live on a farm. They drove around and looked at several farms, and finally decided that they liked one particular farm, because it had everything they wanted. This farm was located in southern Indiana, south of a village called Gnaw Bone. It was now 1944, and this part of Indiana was what would be called a "back-woods" area. It was primitive living around here.
Billy could tell you things that would make your hair stand up, about:
The deadly viper The bull fight at the bottomless pit Blowing up the chicken house When he tried to take a frog away from a snake Meeting the Wampus Cat on a dark night
The story about Billy and the Wampus Cat is a true story. The author lived near Gnaw Bone at the same time that Billy and his family lived there, and he knew Billy personally.
The author lived on a farm just south of Gnaw Bone, Indiana in the 1940's and 1950's. He knew Billy Engel personally. The segments of this story reflect the culture of the times in this part of Indiana.
Conrad Reichert, Ph.D.