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The life and times of Scufflemöss Treemen

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Scufflemöss Treemen dances in the parking lot of Mayday Brewery, one of his favorite Murfreesboro haunts. CAT MURPHY

A new neighbor has been spotted around town, and he's a little different from the rest of us.

It's a crowded night at Mayday Brewery, one of his favorite spots. Boro Blonde, an American blonde ale, now comes in cans, and revelers are ready celebrate the new release -- including Murfreesboro's resident forest troll, Scufflemöss Treemen.

Treemen's distinctive appearance sets him apart from the crowd. His gray-green bark, hooked nose, leafy limbs and gnarled features hearken back to the European forests of his youth.

"Very long time ago. About the 1950s, Scufflemöss come across big factory. He walk out the forest and see big factory. Factory have crate of hamburger bun," says Treemen.

Little did he know, those hamburger buns would change his life forever.

"It was delicacy that Scufflemöss had never experienced in life. You have one, you have another. Oh! It's making him so sleepy. He fall asleep in crate. That is where trouble start."

While Treemen napped, the box was sealed and shipped to Nashville.

He hid out in Middle Tennessee's shrinking woods for decades, shunned from polite society, until the folks at Creepy Hollow Woods in Spring Hill took him in.

"They say, 'Scufflemöss, you stay in forest, you scare people! You get hamburger bun.' They make money. Scufflemöss eat hamburger bun. It was good."

But for all the hamburger buns and human interaction, the forest troll didn't like scaring. He wanted to dance.

"You sway the hips, you dance. And people like. They like the dance, and they laugh. Scufflemöss like to hear people laugh."

So he left.

Treemen set off for Murfreesboro, where he crossed paths with his new caretaker after being accidentally struck by his car. The man bought Treemen his first clothing and shoes, and put him up in the garage Treemen calls home. He says it's been a big adjustment.

"It is very different. Scufflemöss now have roof over head, bed underneath workbench."

He says humans wear a lot of clothes, and are more social than his forest friends -- bears, squirrels, possums and trees. Trees, he says, make especially good friends because they never leave.

Treeman is eager to make more human friends, like Ozzy Nelson, owner of Mayday Brewery.

"I didn't really meet Scufflemoss, I just saw Scufflemoss from across the room," says Nelson.

"I think I just started feeling the groove. I came up to Scufflemoss and just started dancing."

He's now a regular at the brewery. Treemen enjoys downtown Murfreesboro as well, where he recently made another new friend.

"I had met his caretakers at an event at Buddha's Tiki Bar in Smyrna," said Leslie Russell Yost. A few days later she and Treemen bumped into each other at City Cafe.

"He was enjoying a great breakfast, he was trying out the new MTSU chocolate milk. I assumed that trolls would be lactose intolerant but they're not."

Treemen appeared well received by other patrons and staff as well.

"I think the quantity of biscuits served at the City Cafe helps people maintain a healthy dose of melatonin and serotonin so they're a little more chilled," said Yost.

The forest troll also made his social media debut earlier this year, proof that an old troll can learn new tricks.

"Scufflemöss find Twitter, find Instagram, recently find Pinterest, but Facebook has been biggest fun for Scufflemöss."

He also has a Youtube channel, where he shares videos of his and his caretakers' adventures.

But who is the man behind the mask?

"I think that should be a secret," says one of his caretakers, who accompanies him on outings. "Scufflemöss is friend to all, big and tall, young and old...He just wants to get out, and explore, and have fun with it."

"Murfreesboro is home to Scufflemöss as long as people let Scufflemöss live in Murfreesboro," says Treemen.


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