I had no thought of violets of late, The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet In wistful April days, when lovers mate And wander through the fields in raptures sweet. The thought of violets meant florists' shops, And bows and pins, an... Read more of Sonnet at Martin Luther King.caInformational Site Network Informational
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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...



The Horse








Aldrovandus gives us a curious specimen of a horse, which the artist has
drawn with the slashed trunk breeches of the time. He says that
Fincelius, quoting Licosthenes, mentions that this animal had its
skin thus slashed, from its birth, and was to be seen about the year
1555. Its skin was as thick as sole-leather. It was, probably, an ideal
Zebra.

Topsell gives us some fine horse-lore, especially as to their love for
their masters:--"Homer seemeth also to affirme that there are in
Horsses divine qualityes, understanding things to come, for, being tyed
to their mangers they mournd for the death of Patroclus, and also
shewed Achilles what should happen unto him; for which cause Pliny
saieth of them that they lament their lost maisters with teares, and
foreknow battailes. Accursius affirmeth that Caesar three daies
before he died, found his ambling Nag weeping in the stable, which was a
token of his ensewing death, which thing I should not beleeve, except
Tranquillus in the life of Caesar, had related the same thing, and he
addeth moreover, that the Horsses which were consecrated to Mars for
passing over Rubicon, being let to run wilde abroad, without their
maisters, because no man might meddle with the horses of the Gods, were
found to weepe abundantly, and to abstaine from all meat.



"Horsses are afraid of Elephants in battaile, and likewise of a
Cammell, for which cause when Cyrus fought against Croesus, he
overthrew his Horse by the sight of Camels, for a horse cannot abide to
looke upon a Camell. If a Horse tread in the footpath of a Wolfe, he
presently falleth to be astonished; Likewise, if two or more drawing a
Charriot, come into the place where a Wolfe hath trod, they stand so
still as if the Charriot and they were frozen to the earth, sayth
AElianus and Pliny. AEsculapius also affirmeth the same thing of a
Horsse treading in a Beare's footsteppes, and assigneth the reason to be
in some secret, betweene the feete of both beastes....

"Al kind of Swine are enemies to Horses, the Estridge also, is so feared
of a Horse, that the Horsse dares not appeare in his presence. The like
difference also is betwixt a Horse, and a Beare. There is a bird which
is called Anclorus, which neyeth like a Horse, flying about; the Horse
doth many times drive it away; but because it is somewhat blind, and
cannot see perfectly, therefore the horsse doth oftentimes ketch it, and
devoure it, hating his owne voice in a creature so unlike himself.

"It is reported by Aristotle, that the Bustard loveth a Horsse
exceedingly, for, seeing other Beastes feeding in the pastures,
dispiseth and abhorreth them; but, as soone as ever it seeth a Horsse,
it flyeth unto him for joy, although the Horsse run away from it: and,
therefore, the Egyptians, when they see a weake man driving away a
stronger, they picture a Bustard flying to a Horsse....

"Julius Caesar had a horsse which had cloven hooves like a man's
fingers, and because he was foaled at that time when the sooth-sayers
had pronounced that hee should have the government of the world,
therefore he nourished him carefully, and never permitted any man to
backe him but himselfe, which he afterwards dedicated in the Temple of
Venus....

"If one do cut the vaines of the pallet of a horse's mouth, and let it
runne downe into his belly, it will presently destroy and consume the
maw, or belly worms, which are within him. The Marrow of a horse is also
very good to loosen the sinewes which are knit and fastned together, but
first let it be boiled in wine, and afterwards be made cold, and then
anointed warmly either by the Fire, or Sun. The teeth of a male horse
not gelded, or by any labor made feeble, being put under the head, or
over the head of him that is troubled or startleth in his dreame, doth
withstand and resist all unquietnes which in the time of his rest might
happen unto him. The teeth also of a horse is verye profitable for the
curing of the Chilblanes which are rotten and full of corruption when
they are swollen full ripe. The teeth which do, first of all, fall from
horses, being bound or fastned upon children in their infancie, do very
easily procure the breeding of the teeth, but with more speed, and more
effectually, if they have never touched the ground....

"If you anoint a combe with the foame of a horse, wherewith a young man
or youth doth use to comb his head, it is of such force as it will cause
the haire of his head neither to encrease or any whit to appeare. The
foame of a horse is also very much commended for them which have either
pain or difficulty of hearing in their ears, or else the dust of horse
dung, being new made and dryed, and mingled with oyle of Roses. The
griefe or soreness of a man's mouth or throat, being washed or annointed
with the foame of a Horse, which hath bin fed with Oates or barly, doth
presently expell the paine of the Sorenesse, if so be that it be 2 or 3
times washed over with the juyce of young or greene Sea-crabs beaten
small together." But I could fill pages with remedial recipes furnished
by the horse.





Next: The Mimick Dog

Previous: The Antelope



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