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.