The Ti-cah-che-chok

It's been seen at Stony Lake. 

It's been seen at Snake Lake. 

One was shot as it basked in the sun on a clump of downed willows.

 Another was seen by five men at a site north of Machesis Lake. 

One surprised a man on horseback along a trail. He claimed it attacked him, leaping higher than his stirrup.

  Another was run over by a wagon wheel and its flattened carcass puzzled and amazed those who saw it.

What is this thing that haunts the sandhills? - This creature of mystery and legend?

 Whether one calls it little dinosaur as some do, or Ti-cah-che-chok as the Beaver Indian does, there must be something there.

People with a scientific bend suggest it is likely a toad. There are two species of toads indigenous to the area,

the Boreal and the Canadian, and both of them have been seen by various observers.

Does this probability confidently fit the description? Are toads so rare that people who have spent their lifetimes in the wilderness are awed and shaken by the sight of them? Then there is the size. Toads only sit about three to five inches high, not the eight or ten inch height that Ti-cah-che-chok is reputed to stand.  The descriptions, too, are intriguing. Occasionally, someone has thought he was seeing a muskrat when it suddenly materialized into something quite different.  Described as black (in wet marsh grass) or gray (in the sun), as having horns and, also, hair or pin feathers across its shoulders and rump, one wonders what it could be.Tradition says these creatures are to be left alone. Those who have killed them have died strangely. Years ago, growing children were told of their existence and warned against interfering with them.You mean those little dinosaurs out there? one elderly lady responded to the question. We don't talk about them.

So, if you see a Ti-cah-che-chok, please leave it alone, but, do, by all means, get a picture of it.  After all, who knows?  There are new species still being discovered in todays high-tech world.  Why might there not be a rare and unknown creature lurking in our own, magical sand hills?

                          -By Joy Friesen