In the wilderness, impossible things are sometimes born that make their way into the world of man – yet it is also the case that occasionally the opposite is true. We have met such a beast, and survived to speak of it – the wizard’s dragon, the sorcerer’s apprentice.
If the morning is quiet in farm country, and there is no crowing of roosters to welcome the oncoming dawn, be wary of walking alone. Perhaps one is near you, slaying those whose signal is as a death cry – small creatures turned to stone will tell the tale. The rock in the shape of a rodent may once have been a living mouse.
Bird-footed, bird-faced, born from an egg a toad has hatched, the cockatrice bears a deadly venom and even to be perceived by it is death. In its glare is a swinging scythe – like Medusa, broken beauty of the ancient world, all that look directly upon it turn to stone.
We see it from above, safe in our watchful silence, perusing the reflection of his horror and mystery in still waters. The creature itself avoids its own gaze, drinks slowly with a tongue like a lizard’s. When the beast rattles his tails and disappears into the brush, we breathe easy again.
Cocktrice at the Encylopedia Britannica
Image Credit: Jivu
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