Thursday, January 11, 2007

Does it Neigh or Crow?

I’m always on the lookout for new and cool (or rather ancient and cool) mythological beasts, and today I found a doozy. Behold, the hippalektryon!
That’s right, part horse, part ROOSTER, baby! How’s that for strange? And, despite the intimidating number of letters in hippalektryon, I refuse to call it by its English name, “cock-horse.” That just sounds wrong in every way imaginable. (Stop laughing! You'll make the hippalektryon cry!)

I found this odd little critter in the book Horses: History, Myth, Art, by Catherine Johns (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0-674-02323-9). This particular depiction is from a late sixth century B.C. wine cup. Can you imagine what this mighty warrior must be thinking as he rides a giant chicken-horse into battle? Probably something along the lines of, “Why couldn’t I have Pegasus?”

1 comment:

Katherine said...