Arabian and Panamanian Tales
  The Cadejo
 


 is a character from Panamanian, 
Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Honduran, Guatemalan and southern Mexican folklore.
There is a good, white cadejo and an evil, black cadejo. Both are spirits that appear at night to travellers: the white to protect them from harm during their journey, the black (sometimes an incarnation of the devil), to kill them. They usually appear in the form of a large shaggy dog with burning red eyes and a goat's hooves, although in some areas they have more bull-like characteristics. According to the stories, many have tried to kill the black cadejo but have failed and perished. Also it is said that if a cadejo is killed, it will smell terrible for several days, and then its body will disappear.  



When the cadejo is near, it is said to bring about a strong goat-like smell. Most people say never to turn your back to the creature because otherwise you will go
crazy.


In popular
etymology, the name cadejo is thought to have derived from the Spanish word "cadena", meaning "chain"; the cadejo is at times represented as dragging a chain behind him. There is a fairly large member of the weasel family, the tayra, which in common speech is called a cadejo and is cited as a possible source of the legend.

 
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