So what is a wump, you ask? Well, to get a definitive answer, you’d have to ask Bill Peet, and unfortunately, he is no longer available for questioning. But a wump looks much like a capybara (except that a capybara does not have a tail.)
A capybara is the world’s largest rodent, much like a giant guinea pig. It lives in South America, where it frequents dense vegetation surrounding lakes, rivers, swamps, and ponds.
Last week the body of a 120 pound capybara was found by the U.S. Highway 59 bridge over the Arkansas River, south of Sallisaw. I’ve been wondering about that critter for days now. How did a capybara end up in Oklahoma? Are more of them hanging around the Arkansas River?
I’m about as verbal about this situation as a wump. As far as I can remember, wumps only used one word, but they used it repeatedly. Whenever they were frightened or excited, they cried, “Wump, wump!” That’s what I’m likely to say if I run into a capybara in Oklahoma.
If I do meet one, I hope he’s a civilized type.