In the folklore of the the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia, Canada, "giant squirrels" used to descend upon the villages and eat the bark wigwams or teepees. Although they never harmed people, they were a nuisance to the Micmacs because they destroyed their houses. Eventually the squirrels disappeared, and the Micmac's homes were left alone.
Ben S. Roesch suggests that the stories referred to living ground sloths, which ate bark and other vegetation, and had long hairy tails. If so, they must have survived in this area until medieval times, as it is believed that the Micmac's legends occur no further back in history than around 500 B.C..
Notes and references
- Bradley, Michael (1989) More Than a Myth: The Search for the Monster of Muskrat Lake
- Roesch, Ben S. "Ground Sloth Survival in North America", Animals & Men 11 (1996)