Tag Archives: cryptids

In the Laboratory

Never cross-breed a donkey (Equus Asinus) with a miniature Peryton.

The result is a creature with a bad temper and poor reasoning skills.

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Random Poetry is the Best Poetry

I enjoy correspondence. While I am not always a gracious host and tend to prefer beakers and cryptids to humans, I do enjoy a letter or short note. I recently received this from a fellow I’ve never met in person. Spyder, if you’re out there, thank you. You made my day, sir.

Well, hello
Where have you been?  I have been looking for you all these 63 years.
I thought I found you once in Rod Serling’s  voice.  Then, in Jack Skellington’s eyelash. 
But you were elusive.
I even wrote a short story about you once.  Although I didn’t know it at the time.
Anyway, thanks for being.
As another cousin once said:  “I’ll be back.”
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I woke early this morning – one of the gargoyles has started snoring once the sun starts to rise and it is impossible to sleep with that going on (imagine rocks sawing against each other).

In the kitchen I found a note in Mordecai’s scrawl:

A manticore has been spotted at the Gold Dome. Have gone to see for myself.

Immediately, I packed Bubo into the jallopy and hit the road; while Mordecai has full faith in his and Charles’ combined abilities, they are no match for a manticore. So Bubo and I are in Montpelier, Vermont, home of the “gold dome” – the state building (Montpelier is the capital of Vermont). We have yet to see Mordecai, Charles or the manticore.

A manticore is a composite beast of Indian origin. It has the body of a lion, the face of a man, and the tail of a scorpion. An incredibly active beast, it is able to leap large distances, feeds on human flesh, and, some say, can shoot spikes from its tail. All accounts agree that the manticore’s voice is a whistle that sounds like a melody from pipes.

Pliny the Elder quotes Ctesias as saying that the manticore has a triple row of teeth that meet like the teeth of a comb. Reports differ on the eye color – some say blue and some say grey. But, to be honest, if you’re seeing the creature’s eye color, you’ve got larger problems than differing reports or colored contact lenses.

Bubo and I are staying in a church in the quaint downtown; it is cool still in Vermont, and Bubo is out hunting in Hubbard Park. Once the town goes to sleep, we shall strike out in search of Mordecai. Hopefully these reports of a manticore are greatly exaggerated, I have no wish to tangle with one.

My hope is that I can woo Mordecai from this foolhardy errand with apple cider donuts and the promise of a more-docile cryptid hunt through the outcroppings of Mount Mansfield.

Keep your fingers crossed, and should you hear a fearsome whistling, lock yourself inside. And don’t tell Mordecai.

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Maruja the Alebrije

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Some times, when we are at our darkest, our weakest, our most delicate, we are able to enter worlds previously closed to us. With our bodies and consciousness set to fighting the demons assailing us – whether physical or mental – our subconscious is free to explore beyond what we know on Earth. So often we explain away our dreams in the daylight. But in the depths of a fever dream, explanation seems impossible. And unnecessary.

Maruja is an Alebrije, a Mexican folkloric fantasy creature. Alebrijes originated in the fever dreams of artist Pedro Linares. While sweating through an intense and deadly fever, he dreamed of brightly colored creatures. The creatures all whispered one word to him – alebrije. They chanted this word to him and when he recovered, Linares began sculpting them out of wood and paper mache and named them, naturally, alebrijes. At first, people scoffed at these cryptids – contradictions and amalgamations of known animals, odd and arresting.

But our artist continued sculpting. He believed in his fever dream, knowing that the world he had visited was real and full of a truth not found in the here.

Alebrijes have since gained a reputation for scaring away evil spirits and for protecting the home. They exist now in our here, enchanting and inspiring and protecting. Mysticism need not be dark and smokey, my dears. It is in everything fantastical and bright as well as in everything mysterious and dark.

Believe in what you see, especially when it is in your dreams. You can dream. Don’t forget it.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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