June 3, 2016

Mythical T

        Today I have a nice variety of creatures for you: some traditional favorites, and some more obscure discoveries, some with a long history, and some newly identified by scientists.  And when I say “scientists,” of course I mean those people who explore and describe the regions of fantasy in all their wonderful biodiversity.

troll - Large, strong, slow-witted humanoids, trolls generally dwell in mountains and caves, but the dark area under a bridge is apparently cave-like enough to satisfy some.  They often live in family groups, and are dangerous and unfriendly to humans.  They may turn to stone if they’re touched by sunlight, like those encountered by Bilbo Baggins, and they may be frightened off by lightning, or disturbed by the sound of church bells.  (Scandinavian)

tove - According to Humpty-Dumpty, toves are something like badgers, something like lizards, and something like corkscrews.  They make their nests under sundials and live on cheese.  But as we all know, Humpty-Dumpty has a tendency to play fast and loose with definitions, so it may be instead that a tove is a species of badger with smooth white hair, long hind legs, and short horns like a stag.  The cheese, diet, however, is confirmed.  (Looking-Glass World)

thunderbird - There are a variety of different traditions about thunderbirds, so I’ll take that to indicate different species.  Generally, thunderbirds are strong, powerful enemies of water monsters, and can create thunder and lightning by flapping their wings.  Some species live on a mountain that floats in the western sky.  Others live at the four directions.  (various North American Indian)

tatzelwurm - With the head and front paws of a cat, and the hind-end of a serpent, it's unclear whether this is a dragonoid or a mammal, although it does have scales.  It’s about 5-7 feet long and despite having no hind legs it can leap as far as 9 feet.  They live in burrows, hibernate in the winter, and have been known to attack livestock.  One account says they have green blood.  (Alpine European)

        And the ones I’ve posted about previously.  Follow the links for more information.
tarasque - a dragonoid with a lion’s head, six legs, a turtle shell, and a tail with a scorpion sting.  (French)

time fly - a family of insects with so far unexplored properties of affecting time and memory.    (probably European)

tsukumogami - a household object that becomes alive and self-aware.  (Japanese)

[Pictures: The slithy toves did gyre and gimble, illustration by John Tenniel from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, 1871 (Image from Wikimedia Commons);
Baby Thunderbird, by John A. Sharkey (Image from Winn Devon);
Tarasque, ink drawing from Antiquités de Lyon, etc., sixteenth century (Image from Bibliotheque nationale de France).]

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