I read a short story years ago and don't remember what it was called. It was about a man in a desert who had heard about strange creatures that were likely to come after you and if they bit you their teeth would never let go - I think they looked like papery old skin ... inevitably the story ended with the man seeing them approaching and presumably meeting a nasty end. Does anyone know the title or the author please ?

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    Do you remember approximately when you read that story? Was it in a collection, do you remember what other stories were in that collection? Were the creatures fantasy creatures or did they turn out to be a real animal? Was this more of a horror story, or about a fantasy world, or a space colony?
    – user56
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 22:34
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    It sounds like a Snipe hunt, gone terribly terribly wrong. Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


Sounds like it could be Anthony Boucher's "They Bite," a wonderfully creepy little story. Here's a taste:

You see," the young man began, "the desert's so big you can't be alone in it. Ever notice that? It's all empty and there's nothing in sight but, there's always something moving over there where you can't quite see it. It's something very dry and thin and brown, only when you look around it isn't there. Ever see it?"

"They Bite" was first published in 1943. The ISFDB shows that it's been reprinted many times. You can read the complete story at archive.org,

  • That's brilliant. I am sure that is the story - I'll check it out. Thank you so much.
    – missjif
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 10:16
  • Yes it is "They bite" - a fantastic story. I read it as a teenager and was bound up in discovering Manly Wade Wellman and all sorts of sci fi writers - I just couldn't remember anything other than that I was impressed by the story. Thank s for enabling me to rediscover it !
    – missjif
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 10:29
  • @missjif: If you return, don't forget to click on the checkmark by the voting buttons to accept.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 19:29

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