Wednesday, October 7, 2020

C is for Cockatrice!

An entirely inappropriate admixture of fowl, reptile and other, perhaps entirely unearthly elements, the Cockatrice frequents dismal bogs, moors and stony hill-crests, flapping about noisily and laying low prey items with their lethal gaze.
The one I call the hen, here, came out pretty good, I think.

Though not as mangy and hideous as, say, an urban Pigeon, the Cockatrice is still an altogether unappealing sight.  But that's one of the things we like about it.

The Rooster.  Both hen and rooster are Grenadier figures, one comes out of the Monster Manuscript series...They'll be going in to the mail soon, as we are getting ready to start packing things up around here, thank God.  They'll both be lurking in the passages of my dungeon, waiting for some bunch of dumb adventurers to come around the corner.


  1. Great post and painting. Funnily enough, I drove through the village of Wherwell last night. see below
    The legends of Wherwell are numerous, the best being that of the Cockatrice, of which there are several versions. Here is one:

    A duck laid an egg in the crypt of the Abbey which was hatched by a toad and turned into a Cockatrice — a kind of a dragon. It grew to an enormous size and had an insatiable appetite. It flew from the Abbey in search of food and many of the villagers were snatched and taken to the Abbey lair to be eaten. This state of affairs could not continue and a reward of four acres of land was offered to anyone who would kill the cockatrice.

    A man named Green polished a piece of steel until it gleamed like a mirror and lowered it down to the beast's lair. On seeing its reflection the cockatrice fought until it was exhausted, and then Green ran the beast through with a javelin and claimed his reward. Today in Harewood Forest there is still an area known as "Green's Acres".

  2. That's a splendid tale, thanks for sharing it! I love this kind of folklore. There are some seeming similarities to the legend of the Lambton worm there, but the idea of a dragon lurking in the crypt of an Abbey is an interesting component too. Perhaps a folk memory of the place having been built over a pre-Christian holy site. I'm looking up Wherwell and enjoying what I'm finding. Thanks again!

  3. I looked up Wherwell also and it's an interesting idea with the Cockatrice, who needs DandD when there's so much authentic horror from our past. Of course this is real history as well so to be encouraged;)

    1. Great little piece of folklore isn't it?! Something I never knew before. I didn't know the cockatrice was native to the British Isles. Always aort of half assumed the critter came out of the near east. I love British folklore so I'm kind of kicking myself for not knowing it.