|1995 US postage stamp|
When I was a little girl, I read Li'l Abner comics regularly. I remembered that there was a creature in the strip called a shmoo, and as a child it fascinated me. Still does, and it occurred to me that the current generation has never even heard of a shmoo, since they didn't know about Li'l Abner, either. The shmoo, which you can read all about at the link I've provided, was a satirical creature in the comic strip that Al Capp created.
Shmoos are delicious to eat, and are eager to be eaten. If a human looks at one hungrily, it will happily immolate itself — either by jumping into a frying pan, after which they taste like chicken, or into a broiling pan, after which they taste like steak. When roasted they taste like pork, and when baked they taste like catfish. (Raw, they taste like oysters on the half-shell.) They also produce eggs (neatly packaged), milk (bottled, grade-A), and butter—no churning required. Their pelts make perfect boot leather or house timber, depending on how thick you slice it.What I didn't remember, and was fascinated to learn at that link, is that they were considered a menace to society, because since they were everywhere and free, nobody bought any goods any more and the economy collapsed, so they were exterminated. I must have stopped reading somewhere during the shmoo wars and never learned their ultimate fate. Al Capp must have had quite a field day with his shmoon (plural for shmoo). I think you'll enjoy it, if you are not already aware of them.
I guess if I live long enough, there will be some other mythical creature that captures my imagination as much as the shmoo did when I was a kid.