Bizarre monster tale about a Georgia outdoosman attacked by a strange forest creature that only wants it’s “Taily-Po.” Written and Told by Veronica Byrd.

Listen to storyteller Veronica Byrd narrate “Taily-Po

The trials and tribulations of living in today’s modern society can tend to wear on your nerves. One can grow very weary of dealing with bills, taxes, insurance, traffic, and pollution; not to mention anything about keeping food in the refrigerator. Often times the whole thing can make you wanna holler, throw up both your hands!

And that’s exactly what old Bill Smith did. He gave up all the luxuries (and, if you ask me, some of the necessities) of modern life. He loaded up just the barest of essentials and his three hunting dogs into his truck and moved way up into the north Georgia mountains.

Smitty (that’s what all of us folks in town called him) figured it wouldn’t be that much of an adjustment – after all, he did love hunting, fishing and the “Great Outdoors.” And he did have the companionship of his three best friends, his dogs Iknow, Youknow, and Comptiko Callico. What more could a man ask for?

Smitty built himself a nice little cabin way back in the woods. It wasn’t very big, but it was just enough for him. The cabin only had two rooms, one he used for a bedroom, and the other for every other room (living room, dining room, den and kitchen). He had built himself a nice big fireplace where he could cook his food and warm his body on chilly nights. He planted himself a nice little vegetable garden on the side of the house and would hunt and fish for most of his food.  But at least once a month, he would drive the twenty-five miles down the mountain to the little store to buy those things that he couldn’t provide for himself.

During the warm months, Smitty had no problem catching as much small game as he needed. But the colder months proved to be a little more difficult to keep his stomach full. Well, it was on one of those cold wintry nights that Smitty went out to his storage shed to see what he could find for dinner. All he found was a small piece of fatback meat and a handful of rice. There was too much snow on the ground to travel the twenty-five miles to the store, so he had to make do with what he had. He ate the fatback and a little of the rice, but he gave most of the rice and the water where he had boiled the meat to his dogs. After all, they had to eat too!

He called out, “Iknow, Youknow, Comtiko Callico, come on doggies and get you some of this heyeah dinner!” And those dogs came running in as fast as they could and lapped up all of that rice mixture. Smitty was still a little hungry, but there wasn’t much he could do about that. So despite the protests of his grumbling stomach, Smitty stoked the fire in the fireplace to keep the cabin warm and he went to bed.

The sound of the wind blowing around (and in some places through) the tiny cabin had almost lulled Smitty to sleep, when he heard something. He opened his eyes and saw a shadow on the wall. He eased out of bed and tiptoed into the other room. There, he saw the oddest looking creature he had ever seen. It was short and stubby, with pointed ears and short fat feet with long claws, and it had a long bushy tail. There were no open doors or windows, so Smitty was confused as to how the funny looking thing had gotten in.

Smitty quietly picked up his ax, crept over to the odd critter, who was devouring an insect of some sort, raised his ax, and came down squarely on the creatures tail! Smitty turned to catch the varmint, but he was too quick. It hurriedly escaped — through the wall! So Smitty was left standing there with this long bushy tail and a blood-laden ax in his hand, and no sign of the funny looking creature.

Smitty was about to throw the old tail out the door, when his growling stomach reminded him of how hungry he still was. So he took that tail, cleaned it, cooked it with some of the herbs from his garden he had stored away, and ate it. It didn’t taste that bad –why, it kinda tasted like chicken! With his stomach finally full, Smitty got back into his warm cozy bed.

Pisgah National Forest Inn, Kalmia Cabin, Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 408.6, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Smitty had just drifted off into a deep sleep when a strange sound awakened him. It sounded like something trying to scratch its way into the cabin — perhaps a raccoon. Smitty knew that if he stayed real quiet it would probably go away. So he stayed as quiet as he could, but then he heard a strange, otherworldy voice, which hissed, “Taily- Po, I want my Taily-Po!!” Smitty thought the wind was playing tricks on his ears, but he heard it again, “Taily-Po, Taily-Po, I want my Taily-Po.”

Smitty jumped out of bed, flung open the door and called out to his dogs, “Iknow, Youknow, Comtiko Callico, come on over heayah and see what’s making that noise!” The dogs came running, barking and sniffing around, but they didn’t find anything at all. So Smitty put the dogs back outside and went back to bed.

Sleep had just eased itself into Smitty’s body when he heard the voice again. This time, the scratching sounded like it was at the window. Whatever it was, it really, really wanted to get in! But the scratching seemed to be on two walls at one time. Smitty called out, “Hey, hey, hey, who’s that at my door? Get on away from heyeah!”

Then he heard the strange voice again, only this time a little louder: “Taily-Po, Taily-Po, I want my Taily-Po. Taily-Po,Taily-Po, I’m comin’ to get my Taily-Po!”

Old Smitty, who wasn’t one to frighten easily, was getting a little shaky — this was getting really weird. So he eased to the window and called, “Iknow, Youknow, Comtiko Callico, come on over heyeah and see what this is scratching at my house!” The three dogs bounded up to the porch and they sniffed around and barked, barked and sniffed, but they never found anything at all.

Smitty decided to stay up for the rest of the night to protect himself, his dogs and his little cabin. So he pulled a chair next to the fireplace, grabbed a blanket from his bed and settled in for the rest of the wind-chilled, wintry night. Sleep soon overtook him, and once again he dozed off.

It was almost dawn when Smitty woke with a start. The sound of scratching seemed to reverberate from every area of the cabin. Smitty searched frantically for his ax, his rifle, or something to defend himself with, but he was so frightened he couldn’t find anything. The scratching grew louder and louder and louder, and then the voice — “Taily-Po, where is my Taily-Po? Give me back my Taily-Po!!”

Smitty yelled back, “Leave me alone, I ain’t got your Taily-Po!” Then he called, “Iknow, Youknow, Comtiko Callico, come on in heyeah and protect your old master!” This time, the dogs didn’t come. So he called again, “Iknow, Youknow, Comtiko Callico, don’t you hear me calling you? Come here doggies!” He waited and waited, but still not one dog came running. Smitty had never been so scared in his life. He ran to his bed and jumped in. The scratching and the voice grew louder and louder and louder. Smitty yelled back as loud as he could, “I ain’t got no Taily-Po, so why don’t you leave me alone and go on about your business? I ain’t never hurt nobody or nothing, just leave me alone!”

The scratching seemed to be inside the house now and the voice was so loud it was deafening: “Taily-Po, you took my Taily-Po, and now I’m back to get it, give it to me NOW!!” Smitty pulled the cover up over his head and stayed as quiet as he could, but the scratching was now in his room! “Taily-Po, you better give me back my Taily-Po!”

Smitty then felt the thing scratching up the bottom of the bed and onto the cover. Smitty eased the cover down to see what was steadily approaching. Then he saw it — a short, stubby creature with pointed ears, fat feet with long claws and bloodshot red eyes that glowed in the dark — eyes that seemed to burn straight through Smitty! Before he could pull the cover over his head again, the thing pounced on his chest, looked straight down at him and said, “You got my Taily-Po, and you better give it back to me NOW!”

Smitty yelled, “I ate it! I ate your Taily-Po, it’s gone!” And that thing started to scratch and claw and tear away at poor old Smitty, trying to get that Taily-Po back. Smitty tried to fight back, but that thing was too strong and those claws were too sharp. Smitty’s screams echoed throughout the dark mountains, then stopped, leaving a chilling silence.

After a month or two without hearing from Smitty, the folks who owned the store at the base of the mountain went up to his cabin to make sure everything was alright. When they got there, they found his cabin torn to shreds, but no sign of Smitty or the dogs. They searched the woods and called for them, “Smitty, Iknow, Youknow, Comptiko Callico!” But they never found a thing.

As the search party was heading down the mountain, the wintry wind began to blow and a strange voice could be heard saying, “Taily-Po, Taily-Po. Now I’ve got my Taily-Po!”


Further Reading:

Appalchian Ghost Stories in Mountain Culture

Taily-Po – Story Credits

Written and Told by Veronica Byrd

Directed by Craig Dominey

Sound Design by Henry Howard

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Josian

    The story was very cool and fun

  2. amirious ortiz

    give it more blood, my nightmares are scarier than this

  3. Jason Lankford

    Thank you! Love this version of the story!

  4. Veronica Gomez

    I’ve heard this story a long time ago when I was little, but it was the new fangled tail version that scared the crap Out of me when I was a kid. The voice in the pictures were so horrific in detail. But that version of tailypo is hard to find.

  5. jj

    On Halloween day 2 years ago my 4th grade teacher had us to listen to taily po. Ever since I listen and read some stories

  6. dante

    I told my friend about this site and he loved it i told him to listen to taily-po first because thats my all time favorite:)
    the moon lit road is awesome:):):):):):):)

  7. dante

    I told my friend about this site and he loved it i told him to listen to taily-po first because thats my all time favorite:)

  8. dante

    the drip drop story was pretty scary but i like scary things:)

  9. Sam

    I think that the descriptions of the critter sounds like most from Madagascar but in a freecky way :-O

  10. gracie

    that was a good/scary story

  11. This story is so scary at the end I lov that part because it is spooky when u can hear the creature sayin Taily-Po,Taily-Po Now I’ve got my Taily-Po! And when they couldn’t find Smitty,IKnow,YouKnow,and Comptiko Callico!

  12. Mzcamp


  13. Barbara Tiemeier

    We listened to this story 20+ years ago when our kids were little, on a long car trip. I have searched for it ever since. I was so excited to find it today. Taily Po Taily Po I want my Taily Po!

  14. Holly

    My teacher played this story on Halloween. Love the dog names!!

  15. Seth

    the first version i heard was the creature was big. The voice affect was AWESOME.
    and im with you webcomicsurfer

  16. Webcomicsurfer

    The description of the creature makes me think of a black-tufted lemur. Anyone agree?

  17. Lane

    Ive heard so many versions of this story that I have forgotten which one I heard first

  18. WebcomicSurfer

    It WAS spooky when that creature spoke.

  19. Krystin

    Okay so when I was a kid all the other kids came to me for scary stories cuz I kinda was “the scary story person” I guess and we’d all gather around in the barn, light a flashlight and I’d use it to read “scary stories to read in the dark” this was the one that scared me the most except he sent the dogs outside and they ran into the woods and they’d come back without one of them each time until they were all gone, and ironically enough they slept under his bed in that version. I was the one who read it and I scared myself! My sister saw it tonight and said we should listen to it and I almost didn’t cuz I could remember it, so freaky.

  20. katie

    this story was kinda dumb… i loved all the others tho. this is an awesome site!

  21. isaiah

    i really really loved the drip drop part.

  22. Louie

    CREEPY!! (note to self: dont eat freaky lookin animals tails)

  23. Toby

    I’ve heard a version of this one before. There was supposed to be something significant about the dogs’ names but I can’t remember. I loved it!

  24. Anna

    The podcast is so freaky!! My new favorite story!

  25. Kim Hue

    I love these stories.

  26. Kareem

    (hands to cheeks, eyes wide in horror)- AAAIIIIIYYYYYEEEEE!!!!!!

  27. arleth quezada

    i thought that drip drop was a asome but i liked taly-po BETTER BECOUSE HE KILLED THE MAN -ARLETH 10 YEAR OLD

  28. C

    One of my favorite tales on this site; however, the re-posted audio version seems to be cut off prematurely.

  29. isaac

    it is not scary at all

  30. valerie

    scary story cool:[

  31. Irasema

    the drip drop passage is asome

  32. bob

    if you want a real scare read this :[

    Drip Drop
    There was this gilr named Victoria, and she had a dog named trooper. Her parents sadly had to go on a buissness trip on halloween. So when they left she sat down and started watching a movie until she noticed a note on the t.v. She read it and it said “If you get scared put your hand down underneath your bed and let your dog Troper lick your hand since he sleeps under there, signed mom.” Afterwards she started watching movies until eleven at night. She got up and went to bed, her dog Troper followed. She crawed into bed and her dog went underneath the bed. She stuck her hand down and he licked it. She went to sleep for about twenty minutes waking up to a smell that smelled like bacon and heard stratching. She decided to ignore it and went back to sleep for about two hours and woke up and heard a dripping sound that went drip drop drip drop. She got up and went down to the kitchen and screwed the faucet and went back upstairs and put her hand down for her dog to lick it and he did. She heard the dripping sound four more times and got up and did the same thing. Each time she did that she always put her hand down for her dog to lick it. When she got so sick of it, she decided to go to the bathroom and there in the bathtub was a pool of blood and her dog skinned and there was a message on the wall writen in blood saying “Humans can lick too.” The end.

  33. porky porky


  34. Steven

    I remember having this story read to us in the 4th grade. It was so scary to us back then. Still to this day it creeps me out. It has become one of my favorite tales of all time.

  35. Stacey

    This is seriously the scariest thing I’ve read on this sight! Thats so weird!

  36. caitlin

    This is a good story,I like it!