BEAST OF ‘BUSCO (pages 119-120)
“A large pond on a farm near the city of Churubusco, Indiana, is reputed to be the home of a monster turtle, sometimes known as Oscar, and more ominously as the Beast of ‘Busco.
“In 1948 the owner of the pond noticed that there were fewer fish than usual, and that ducks resting on the pond sometimes disappeared mysteriously. The cause of these disappearances was a gigantic snapping turtle. The largest of the snapping turtles, the alligator snapper, has been known to weigh up to two hundred pounds, and is strong enough to break a broomstick with its horny jaws, or snap off a finger. But this snapping turtle was much bigger, though accounts differ as to its size. Some say it was only as big as a dining-room table while others insist it was as big as a pickup truck.
“Turtle hunts were organized, and the men went at the pond with baited hooks, traps, and guns, but were unsuccessful in their efforts. The farmer who owned the pond, however, studied the monster turtle’s habits, and one day while it was sleeping he slipped a rope or chain around its middle, attached the other end to four strong horses, and tried to pull Oscar out of the pond.
“The horses pulled and the turtle dug its claws into the mud. The contest finally ended in a draw when the rope (or chain) broke. Oscar slipped back into te murky waters of the pond and was never seen again. Some say he died from the exertion, and others insist that he is just hiding and waiting, for turtles live a long time and can be very patient.
“Every year the people of Churubusco celebrate their local monster with a festival called Turtle Days, where visitors are encouraged to buy turtle model, turtle T-shirts, eat a variety of dishes that are in one way or another named after turtles, and in general spend money.”