"Once upon a time, there was a Tajar. Do you know what a Tajar is? Well, he's something like a tiger, and something like a jaguar, and something like a badger; and if you should see him once, you would forget what he looked like, but if you should see him twice, you would forget to forget what he looked like, and that would be quite fatal."
The Tajar Tales
are a collection of short stories by Jane Shaw Ward
, first published in 1925
, about a mischievous
little creature with an insatiable
curiosity who is "exceedingly filled with folly" and lives in an Old Tree
, near the Camp
. Indeed, the stories of Tajar are largely relegated to camps, where their distribution originated, and where, in these surroundings that people (usually children
), are first introduced to the world of Tajar.
As for the Tajar himself, he is rarely seen, and usually hides away during the daytime
when Camp is in session. He does love to dance in the moonlight
, however, and if he becomes too filled with mischief
, he undoubtedly gets a stern-but-friendly talking to, by the Range Ranger
(who ranges the ranges of that region).
Indeed, the Range Ranger is one of a very small number of other major characters in these stories, the only other being Madame Witch
, another resident of the forest
, at whose expense Tajar tends to have much fun -- and usually suffers the consequences
of his actions.
The Tajar Tales
are vivid enough to capture the attention of listeners young and old, while giving just enough detail as to invoke
s of children for hours. When I was a camper, they used to read us the adventures of Tajar, and I had just as much fun reciprocating
this, when I had the chance to be a camp counselor
. If you are a fan of the outdoors, have young children
, or simply enjoy collections of amusing short stories
, they're a highly recommended addition to your collection.