Monday, September 16, 2013


A chimera is a mythical creature made up of two or more disparate parts of different animals: head of a lion, body of a goat, that sort of thing; or part animal, part human: centaurs, mermaids, NFL linemen. 

Me? I'm part sleepy dog, part Japanese macaque sitting in hot water with snow falling around me.

The ancient Egyptians were noted for slicing and dicing their deities: Anubis, Sphinx, Horus—jackal/human, human/lion, falcon/human respectively.   

In the avian lexicon we have bull-bats, the local folk name for nighthawks, which suggests the head of a bull and the body of a bat, yet it's really neither of those. Surprised? 

A nighthawk does bring to mind a fusion, but not of a hawk but a falcon/whip-poor-will bit of stitchery, a swift, agile flying insectivore with the buzzy "peent" of a woodcock and the large eyes, short neck of an owl. A bit of a Frankenstein's monster, but it all somehow works better than Mary Shelley's assembled short-lived creature.

I ponder such mélange because a flock of bull-bats flew over the other night at twilight, which is their wont, headed to South America for the winter, which is their custom. 

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

When I was a kid (back in the dark ages) in the late afternoon we would hear the Bull Bats diving for insects, We would throw up little bits of gravel to try to get them to dive after the gravel:)