The Herald Bulletin

March 16, 2014

Park patrons search trails for legendary creatures, honor St. Patrick's Day

Pukwudgies supposedly similar to Leprechauns

By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Small, human-like creatures. Large noses and ears. Backs like a porcupine’s. Bowl haircuts.

There are a number of possible descriptions for the legendary creatures known as Pukwudgies, but several locals took to Mounds State Park on Sunday in hopes of seeing just one.

The park held a Pukwudgie search, partly in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and partly to ring in the start of spring and give patrons a chance to explore wildlife and walk along the park’s trails. Many descriptions of the fabled Pukwudgies, 2- to 3-foot tall beings from Native American folklore, match the appearance and traits of Leprechauns, fairies from Irish legend that are popularly depicted on St. Patrick’s Day.

Leah Perry, the tour guide for the search, admitted she’s never seen a Pukwudgie, but said the park hosted the search because the creatures are fabled to congregate around the White River, which flows through Mounds State Park. The park itself is a hotbed of reported sightings, according to Perry.

“I’ve never seen one, of course, but I’m open to their existence,” Perry said. “This is something popular for kids and to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”

Several who came to the event brought their dogs to assist with the search. The trail proved to be fruitless for those searching for Pukwudgies and other mythical creatures, but a few who came said they were just happy to be outside again after a particularly harsh winter.

“We really had cabin fever,” said Spencer Pierce, who attended the search with his young son Troy. “It’s not great out here, but it’s a lot better than it has been. We live close by so it’s a good chance to see nature and the trails.”

Troy said he had seen a deer earlier in the day and was hoping to see a Pukwudgie.

“I’m interested in all kinds of ghost stories,” Troy said.

Becky Clemens and Larry Morgan, friends from Anderson, said they were excited to be outside and enjoy nature for the first time in months. Clemens said she also enjoyed learning about legends.

“Maybe if we had a good bit of Irish whiskey, that would help us find a Pukwudgie,” Clemens said jokingly. “Could help warm us up, too.”

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