"Wonderful or supernatural events are not so uncommon, rather they are irregular in their incidence. Thus there may be not one marvel to speak of in a century, and then often enough comes a plentiful crop of them; monsters of all sorts swarm suddenly upon the earth, comets blaze in the sky, eclipses frighten nature, meteors fall in rain, while mermaids and sirens beguile, and sea-serpents engulf every passing ship, and terrible cataclysms beset humanity.
But the strange event which I shall here relate came alone, unsupported, without companions into a hostile world, and for that reason claimed little of the general attention of mankind. For the sudden changing of Mrs. Tebrick into a vixen is an established fact which we may attempt to account for as we will. Certainly it is in the explanation of the fact, and the reconciling of it with our general notions that we shall find most difficulty, and not in accepting for true a story which is so fully proved, and that not by one witness by a dozen, all respectable, and with no possibility of collusion between them.
But here I will confine myself to an exact narrative of the event and all that followed it. Yet I would not dissuade any of my readers from attempting an explanation of this seeming miracle because up till now none has been found which is entirely satisfactory. What adds to the difficulty to my mind is that the metamorphosis occurred when Mrs. Tebrick was a full-grown woman, and that it happended suddenly in so short space of time. The sprouting of a tail, the gradual extension of hear all over the body, the slow change of the whole anatomy by a process of growth...." Pages 1 ~ 2. First published 1922.
Unfortunately this book is out of print ~ shows how gems like these can be lost. I did find it on
It was awarded prizes and much praise. I rediscovered it after doing a late summer clean of my books. The etchings are delightful.