VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.urbanmyths.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy

Mythical Creatures -

Amazons
The race of Amazons or fighting women, is not yet extinct, ...

Pygmies
The antitheses of men--Dwarfs, and Giants--must not be over...

Giants
This last sentence seems almost a compendium of The History...

Early Men
On the antiquity of man it is impossible to speculate, beca...

Wild Men
Sometimes a specimen of humanity has got astray in infancy,...

Hairy Men
If, as we may conjecture from the above, the ancient Briton...

The Ouran Outan
Transition from hirsute humanity to the apes, is easy, and ...

Satyrs
He also mentions and delineates a curious Ape which closely...

The Sphynx
"The SPHYNGA or Sphinx, is of the kind of Apes, but his bre...

Apes
Sluper, who could soar to the height of delineating a Cyclo...

Animal Lore
We are indebted to Pliny for much strange animal lore--whic...

The Manticora
Of curious animals, other than Apes, depicted as having som...

The Lamia
The Lamiae are mythological--and were monsters of Africa, w...

The Centaur
This extraordinary combination of man and animal is very an...

The Gorgon
In the title-page of one edition of "The Historie of Foure-...

The Unicorn
What a curious belief was that of the Unicorn! Yet what myt...

The Rhinoceros
The true Unicorn is, of course, the Rhinoceros, and this pi...

The Gulo
Olaus Magnus thus describes the Gulo or Gulon:--"Amongst...

The Bear
As Pliny not only uses all Aristotle's matter anent Bears, ...

The Fox
By Englishmen, the Fox has been raised to the height of at ...

The Wolf
The Wolf, as a beast of prey, is invested with a terror pec...

Were-wolves
But of all extraordinary stories connected with the Wolf, i...

The Antelope
When not taken from living specimens, or skins, the arti...

The Horse
Aldrovandus gives us a curious specimen of a horse, which t...

The Mimick Dog
"The Mimicke or Getulian Dogge," is, I take it, meant fo...

The Cat
Aldrovandus gives us a picture of a curly-legged Cat, but, ...

The Lion
Of the great Cat, the Lion, the ancients give many wonderfu...

The Leontophonus The Pegasus The Crocotta
The Lion has a dreadful enemy, according to Pliny, who says...

The Leucrocotta The Eale Cattle Feeding Backwards
"There are oxen, too, like that of India, some with one hor...

Animal Medicine
We have already seen some of the wonderfully curative prope...

The Su
Topsell mentions a fearful beast called the Su. "There is a...

The Lamb-tree
As a change from this awful animal, let us examine the Plan...

The Chimaera
Aldrovandus gives us the accompanying illustration of a ...

The Harpy And Siren
The conjunction of the human form with birds is very eas...

The Barnacle Goose
Of all extraordinary beliefs, that in the Barnacle Goose, w...

Remarkable Egg
No wonder that a credulous age, which could see nothing ...

Moon Woman
One would have imagined that this Egg would be sufficien...

The Griffin
There always has been a tradition of birds being existent, ...

The Phoenix
Pliny says of the Phoenix:--"AEthiopia and India, more espe...

The Swallow
"And is the swallow gone? Who beheld it? Wh...

The Martlet And Footless Birds
Of the Martin, or, as in Heraldry it is written, Martlet, G...

Snow Birds
But we must leave warm climes, and birds of Paradise, and s...

The Swan
The ancient fable so dear, even to modern poets, that Swans...

The Alle Alle
"There is also in this Lake (the White Lake) a kind of b...

The Hoopoe And Lapwing
Whether the following bird is meant for the Hoopoe, or the ...

The Ostrich
Modern observation, and especially Ostrich farming, has ...

The Halcyon
Of this bird, the Kingfisher, Aristotle thus discourses:--"...

The Pelican
The fable of the Pelican "in her piety, vulning herself,...

The Trochilus
This bird, as described by Aristotle, and others, is of a p...

Woolly Hens
Sir John Maundeville saw in "the kingdome named Mancy, whic...

Two-headed Wild Geese
Near the land of the Cynocephali or dog-headed men, there w...

Four-footed Duck
Gesner describes a four-footed duck, which he says is li...

Fish
Terrestrial and Aerial animals were far more familiar to th...

The Sea-mouse
"The Sea-Mouse makes a hole in the Earth, and lays her Eggs...

The Sea-hare
"The Sea-Hare is found to be of divers kinds in the Ocean, ...

The Sea-pig
Again we are indebted to Gesner for the drawing of thi...

The Walrus
Of the Walrus, Rosmarus, or Morse, Gesner draws, and Ola...

The Ziphius
This Voracious Animal, whose size may be imagined by compar...

The Saw Fish
"The Saw fish is also a beast of the Sea; the body is huge ...

The Orca
is probably the Thresher whale. Pliny thus describes it:--"...

The Dolphin
Pliny says:--"The Dolphin is an animal not only friendly to...

The Narwhal
generally called the Monoceros or Sea Unicorn, is thus show...

The Swamfisck
The accompanying illustration, though heading the chapte...

The Sahab
"There is also another Sea-Monster, called Sahab, which hat...

The Circhos
"There is also another Monster like to that, called Circhos...

The Remora
Of this fish Pliny writes:--"There is a very small fish tha...

The Dog-fish And Ray
Olaus Magnus writes of "The cruelty of some Fish, and th...

The Sea Dragon
Of the Ray tribe of fishes, the Sea Dragon is the most ...

The Sting Ray
Pliny mentions the Sting Ray, and ascribes to it marvellous...

Senses Of Fishes
He also tells us about the senses of fishes, and first of t...

Zoophytes
Writing on the lower phases of Marine Animal life, he says:...

Sponges
"We find three kinds of sponges mentioned; the first are th...

The Kraken
This enormous monster, peculiar to the Northern Seas, is sc...

Crayfish And Crabs
Pliny tells us that in the Indian Ocean are Crayfish four c...

The Sea-serpent
Of the antiquity of the belief in the Sea-Serpent there can...

Serpents
Of Serpents Topsell has written a "Historie," which, if not...

The Crocodile
The largest of the Saurians which we have left us, is the C...

The Basilisk And Cockatrice
Aldrovandus portrays the Basilisk with eight legs. Topse...

The Salamander
Many writers have essayed this fabled creature, but almost ...

The Toad
Toads were always considered venomous and spiteful, and the...

The Leech
The Leech has, from a very early age, been used as a means ...

The Scorpion
Of the Scorpion, Pliny says:--"This animal is a dangerous s...

The Ant
No one would credit the industrious Ant, whose ways we are ...

The Bee
The Busy Bee, too, according to Olaus Magnus, developed, in...

The Hornet
So also, up North, they seem to have had a special breed...



Snow Birds








But we must leave warm climes, and birds of Paradise, and speak of
"Birds shut up under the Snow."



"There are in the Northern Countries Wood-Cocks, like to pheasant for
bigness, but their Tails are much shorter, and they are cole black all
over their bodies, with some white feathers at the end of their Tails
and Wings. The Males have a red Comb standing upright; the Females have
one that is low and large, and the colour is grey. These Birds are of an
admirable Nature to endure huge Cold in the Woods, as the Ducks in the
Waters. But when the Snow covers the Superficies of the Earth, like to
Hills, all over, and for a long time presse down the boughs of the Trees
with their weight, they eat certain Fruits of the Birch-Tree, called in
Italian (Gatulo) like to a long Pear, and they swallow them whole,
and that in so great quantity, and so greedily, that their throat is
stuffed, and seems greater than all their body.

"Then they part their Companies, and thrust themselves all over into the
snow, especially in January, February and March, when Snow and
Whirlwinds, Storms, and grievous Tempests, descend from the Clouds. And
when they are covered all over, that not one of them can be seen, lying
all in heaps, for certain weeks they live, with meat collected in their
throats, and cast forth, and resumed. The Hunter's Dogs cannot find
them; yet by the Cunning of the crafty Hunters, it falls out, that when
the Dogs err in their scent, they, by signs, will catch a number of
living Birds, and will draw them forth to their great profit. But they
must do that quickly; because when they hear the Dogs bark, they
presently rise like Bees, and take up on the Wing, and fly aloft. But,
if they perceive that the Snow will be greater, they devour the foresaid
Fruit again, and take a new dwelling, and there they stay till the end
of March: or, if the snow melt sooner, when the Sun goes out of Aries;
for then the snow melting, by an instinct of Nature (as many other
Birds) they rise out of their holes to lay Eggs, and produce young ones;
and this in Mountains where bryars are, and thick Trees. Males and
Females sit on the Eggs by turns, and both of them keep the Young, and
chiefly the Male, that neither the Eagle nor Fox may catch them.

"These Birds fly in great sholes together, and they remain in high
Trees, chiefly Birch-Trees; and they come not down, but for propagation,
because they have food enough on the top of their Trees. And when
Hunters or Countreymen, to whom those fields belong, see them fly all
abroad, over the fields full of snow, they pitch up staves obliquely
from the Earth, above the Snow, eight or ten foot high; and at the top
of them, there hangs a snare, that moves with the least touch, and so
they catch these Birds; because they, when they Couple, leap strangely,
as Partridges do, and so they fall into these snares, and hang there.
And when one seems to be caught in the Gin, the others fly to free her,
and are caught in the like snare. There is also another way to catch
them, namely with arrows and stalking-horses, that they may not suspect
it....

"There is also another kind of Birds called Bonosa, whose flesh is
outwardly black, inwardly white: they are as delicate good meat as
Partridges, yet as great as Pheasants. At the time of Propagation, the
Male runs with open mouth till he foam; then the Female runs and
receives the same; and from thence she seems to conceive, and bring
forth eggs, and to produce her young."





Next: The Swan

Previous: The Martlet And Footless Birds



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 937