Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 13th, 2011
“Milestones”; Time, Vol. 21 (March 20, 1933) Page(s)
Died. Louis Timothy Stone, 58, managing editor of the Evening Citizen of Winsted, Conn., which he put on the U. S. map with his freak animal stories; after long illness; in Winsted. Famed lies: the 1895 “Winsted Wild Man” who ran naked in the hills, the cat with the harelip that whistled “Yankee Doodle,” the spinsters’ cow that was too decent to be milked by a man, Pete the tunneling trout, the chilled cow that gave ice cream, the man who kept flies off his bald head by painting on a spider, mares who bore twin calves, and the windstorm that blew a sheet of paper into a typewriter and typed off the alphabet backwards.
Credit for forwarding the above is given to Chuck Flood, with appreciation.
Many of us, of course, do not consider the “Winsted Wild Man” to be a lie. Nevertheless, you will find this list widely published:
Stone’s Tall Tales
Some of the tall tales that made Lou Stone famous include:
A chicken that lay red, white, and blue eggs every fourth of July.
A tree that grew baked apples.
A bashful cow raised on a farm owned by two spinsters whom no men ever visited. When the cow was sold, she refused to allow herself to be milked by a man unless she was dressed in women’s clothes.
A man who caught a fish with his red nose as bait.
The farmer who plucked his chickens with a vacuum cleaner.
A river that ran uphill.
A cow that was locked in an ice house and produced ice cream for two weeks after her release.
Winsted resident, Otis Gillette, who, because he was bothered by flies, had a spider and cobweb painted on his bald head. When his wife complained that it made him look ridiculous, he replied, “Comfort before pride.”
A cow that was so shaken by a garage explosion that she produced butter.
A cow that ate radishes and produced burning milk.
A maternal bulldog that sat for three weeks on eggs abandoned by a hen.
A windstorm that blew a sheet of paper into a typewriter and typed the alphabet backward.
A tame squirrel that used his tail to shine his owner’s boots each morning.
A Maltese cat with a harelip that whistled Yankee Doodle.
A thirsty frog who knocked over a jug of applejack, removed its cork, drank its contents, and started to sing “Sweet Adeline.” When an editor asked Stone how a frog could remove a cork from a jug, he replied: “Thirsty frogs are very sure-toed. Their desire for strong drink inspires them with great strength and amazing agility, and also makes them musical.”
A farmer who lost his watch and found it seven years later in the stomach of one of his cows, after he had killed it. The watch was still running because the cow’s stomach muscles had kept it wound, though it was a minute-and-a-half slow.
Links and References
“Where Nature Yarns Come From.” (May 21, 1916). The Washington Post.
“Lew Stone of Winsted, Tall-Tale Teller, Dies.” (Mar 14, 1933). Los Angeles Times.
“The Never-Never Yarns that made Winsted Famous.” (April 16, 1933.) Portsmouth Times.
MacDougall, Curtis. (1958). Hoaxes. Dover Publications. pgs. 3-4.
Museum of Hoaxes.