The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cockatrice


A cockatrice resembles a large rooster with a lizard-like tail. The cockatrice was first described in the late twelfth century based on a hint in Pliny's Natural History, as a duplicate of the basilisk, though, unlike the basilisk, the cockatrice has legs and resembles a rooster rather than a snake. Do not make the mistake of dismissing the two species as the same animal. They have clearly defined characteristics and are easily told apart. If one needed to defeat a cockatrice/basilisk, one wouldn't want to use the same methods for removing them.

It was supposed to be born from an egg laid by a cock and incubated by a toad or snake.
Its reputed magical abilities include turning people to stone or killing them by either looking at them — "the death-darting eye of Cockatrice"-- touching them, or sometimes breathing on them.

According to legend, having a cockatrice look itself in a mirror is one of the few sure-fire ways to kill it. The cockatrice was also able to fly with the set of wings affixed to its back.
Like the head of Medusa, the cockatrice's powers of petrification were still effective after death.

Historical Accounts
In England the town most associated with the Cockatrice is the village of Wherwell, near Andover in Hampshire. The story is that the Cockatrice terrorised the village until it was imprisoned in the dungeons below Wherwell Priory. A prize of land was offered to anyone who could kill the creature. None was successful, until a man named Green lowered a mirror into the dungeon. The Cockatrice battled against its own reflection until exhausted, at which point Green was able to kill it. Today there is an area of land near Wherwell called Green's Acres. For many years a weather vane in the shape of a Cockatrice adorned the church of St. Peter and Holy Cross in Wherwell until it was removed to Andover Museum.
In the King James Version of the Old Testament cockatrice is used several times, to translate Hebrew tziph'oni:

Isaiah 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
Isaiah 59:5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.
Unfortunately, these biblical references are only due to mistranslations from Hebrew to English. However, I found the usage interesting all the same.

A special thanks to Wikipedia and to Occultupida.com for the art, however misused in mistaking it for a basilisk.

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