Tag Archive for 'legends'

Legend of the Papalope

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

Less known than the popular jackalope is the story told in the Great Plains of North America. This pseudo-mythical tale is of the “Papalope” a joyful, grandfather character who cares for cattle and children in the [[Kansas]] fertile lowlands with sitings reported near the old Camp Drywood site in Bourbon County.

Legends claim the Papalope is a farmer and woodsman known for his full head of tousled hair, quick wit, and ready smile and is often described as riding an late model (circa 1970) Allis-Chalmers tractor. According to a former public official from Drywood Township [1], the Papalope is married and collectively the” Papalope” and “Mamalope” are known to care for the plants and wildlife in their domain and for helping others in need. The Papalope and his bride welcome strangers into their home for large seasonal feasts and activities throughout the year and for providing housing to travelers in need of shelter. Though thought to be a folktale, a photo taken in 2014 by an automatic wildlife camera captured what former residents from the area claim to be a photo [see above] of the Papalope walking through the yard of a private farm in rural Bourbon County Kansas.

Circumstantial evidence indicate that the Papalope may not be unique to the Great Plains as there is an engraving from the 1920s that depicts a possibly similar character known as the “Cow Man”.

[1] Personal interview with a former Drywood Township Trustee