About the author

Tahir Mella is married to Wanda O’Quinn, and has four children, David, Malorie, Kyle, and Bryn.

Born June 18, 1966 in Manila, Philippines, and the youngest of five siblings, Mr. Mella immigrated to the United States in 1989 and finished his legal studies at Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey. In between hours of work, he composes music, and enjoys writing, poetry, drawing, oil painting, and most of all, flying small airplanes.


The Casyrole are mythical creatures that originated in Europe hundreds of years ago, and were killed and driven away by the early Christian Crusaders in the middle ages. The few that escaped found their way to early America, stowed away in the hulls of big ships that plied their trade between the two continents. They established small colonies in Virginia, until they were discovered and again driven away further inland.

Through the years, the Casyrole have survived, but they have hidden from human eyes for hundreds of years and thus have long been forgotten. There is a question now of whether they even exist – or ever existed. Some have called the Casyrole the New Jersey devil – with red glowing eyes, great bat wings, and eagle claws. Nobody really knows where they are or what they look like. But most of all, nobody knows their real story.

Now, every tale – no matter how fantastic, no matter how unreal - has a piece of history in it. A true story that is told over and over again through centuries and generations. And through the years, details are added and taken away from that story - until it becomes so unbelievable that it evolves into a myth. A legend. Often told – seldom believed.

This is the true story of the Casyrole.

One night, my youngest daughter, Bryn, had trouble sleeping. She was bored. An odd excuse for not wanting to go to bed, but one not so novel for a young father thoroughly familiar with his most obstinate little one’s shenanigans.

“There are creatures about in the night,” I said in an ominous tone, “lurking for little kids who don’t go to sleep early.”

“There are not!” Bryn half insisted – her eyes glaring at me, as if testing my story (or fishing for a new one – for she’s heard all my other monster stories and hasn’t been terribly impressed by them).

“What creatures, dad?” she demanded.

I had no more than a split second to react, and I struggled for the first word that came to my mind.

“Ah, er… casseroles,” I mumbled.


“Yes, Bryn,” I declared, “Casyroles!”

Tahir will always stick to his guns, no matter how attenuated – nay, absurd - the proposition. And so, the Casyrole was born. A creature with bizarre and beastly features - but beneath them, a heart of gold.

“Tahir,” I said to myself, “If I can sell this concept to Bryn, I can sell it to anybody.”