A recent report of sheep taken from a Midland County
ranch makes me wonder if the ever-popular Chupacabra
has made its way to West Texas. For some of you
who are unfamiliar with the legendary Chupacabra
(pronounced chew-pah-khab-rah), it's a scaled, winged
and fanged alien/beast that reportedly sucks the
blood out of livestock.
Its name translated in English means "the goat sucker."
Its origin has been traced to South American farmers,
who blame the creature for sabotaging their livestock.
The lore made its way to Puerto Rico, Florida and
even the Rio Grande Valley. I figured it'd only be a matter of time before this nuisance followed me to Midland.
When I was in South Texas, the Chupacabra would
make his way into the police reports at least once
a month. The scenario always involved a rural farmer
who'd call authorities after finding dead animals
on his property - all of which sustained two puncture
wounds to the neck.
Then, the complainant would come to our newspaper
with Polaroid pictures of his decaying animals.
My assignment would come soon after: I'd have to
ask a serious lawman to explain how the alien killed
an entire herd of cows and if charges were to be
filed. I could just see the docket: Case No. 0001,
the People vs. Goat sucker; charges: criminal mischief,
cruelty to animals and unlawful flight to avoid
Instead of making him laugh, the officer would throw
me out of his office, telling me that I wasted his
time with such absurd tales. Here in the basin,
the closest thing I've seen to the goat sucker is
a news reporter who did a live shot from a pet cemetery
in West Odessa.
At prime time, this person poked
at bloated animal carcasses with a branch , warning
citizens not to make other people's property a final
resting place for Barky or Fluffy.
However, I doubt the beast is lingering in this
neck of the woods (or desert for that matter). The
creature's not as dumb as we think he is. Obviously,
he likes to roam the tropical climate, but probably
made a detour to the southern United States to stir
up a little scandal - or get a prescription for
Or, El Nino's wrath could have scared the little
guy over here. The impenetrable haze wafting from
zillion-acre fires in Mexico could have forced Chupacabra
to seek refuge in Midland, where he makes his home
near a prairie dog town or at Wadley-Barron Park.
Either way, he won't be here long. There's way too
little livestock for him to survive here. I'd imagine
that he could move to Hawaii or the Virgin Islands,
but maybe he hasn't acquired enough frequent flyer
miles to make that voyage.
If I could meet him, I'd chide him for eluding me
for appearances on the "X-Files," National Enquirer
and "Unsolved Mysteries." Heck, I even looked for
him at the Chupacabras Festival in Zapata, Texas,
but all I found there was a 25-foot papier mache replica.
At this point, I'd be happy if he could bring a
little vigor into my life again, but I'm not counting
on it. The smoky haze has probably chased him away
to greener pastures, where there probably lives
more goats fearing his arrival.
Midland Reporter-Telegraph May 29, 1998