March 22, 2019

E is for Emela-ntouka

        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination, which will be released by the end of the year.  For lots more info, check out my Kickstarter Campaign for this project.

        “In the swamps of the Congo in equatorial Africa there dwells an enormous creature, as large as an elephant, but with a tail like a crocodile and a long, sharp horn upon its nose.  Although the emela-ntouka is vegetarian in diet, the ancient writers say that its name means killer of elephants, for it is so aggressive in defending its territory that it will attack any creature it encounters, slaying even elephants with its horn.  No one knows why emela-ntoukas are so belligerent, but it can be observed that in driving away all whom they consider enemies, they drive away equally all who might have been friends.  Consider that although the emela-ntouka is stronger than the elephant and destroys the elephant in battle, yet the elephant has its herd, while the emela-ntouka is forever alone.
        In the emela-ntouka we observe the lesson that while strength and violence may be effective at gaining power, they are poor indeed at gaining security, for as long as one's power comes from cruelty, one will always feel alone and under constant threat.”

        The emela-ntouka is one of those creatures that cryptozoologists have tried to investigate, with the thought that a real animal, currently unknown to science, is the basis of the folklore.  I agree that it’s cool when science discovers new creatures, but I’m also quite happy to do my exploration in the Realms of Imagination.  Just because something doesn’t exist in the real, material world of science doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any existence at all.  Do you think there could be large undiscovered creatures still out there?
        Remember, the mythical creature goodness doesn’t stop there!  The other creature representing E is the eale, although it’s a sneaky one because it’s better known as the yale.  (And sometimes it’s even known as the jall.)  So, you’ll have to click the link to read 
(But you won’t find the eale/yale until we get to Y.)

[Picture: Unknown to Science, rubber block print by AEGN, 2018.]


A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

You are already working your way through the challenge! I am enjoying the advance read :) Also, this creature is fascinating. Herbivorous yet dangerous. :)

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Just like a cranky grandpa... You think it's harmless, and then... RAAAAAR!!!

Frédérique said...

Emela-ntouka... I love his name ;)

Deborah Weber said...

Not only do I love your art, but I'm delighting in the morals to consider.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Now I feel bad for fictional elephants...

Amazing creature though! Good work with this post.

J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

Pax said...

A cranky grandpa, huh? Something -- or someone -- to avoid? Hmmmm.