Mythical Creatures Series
An egg laying rooster!! If that in itself isn’t an impossibility, when this rooster abandones it’s eggs, it is said a snake or toad takes over the job and what is born is a cockatrice. The inconsequential fact that this creature is half a rooster and half a snake or dragon is nothing compared to its potent abilities.
What is it?
Creatures of legend, cockatrice or basilisks (if they don’t have wings) have recieved their fair share of fame, appearing in such movies as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, yet this animal is one to be wary of, after all a single glance can turn you into stone. It will not hesitate to attack despite its small size.
‘In England the town most associated with the cockatrice is the village of Wherwell, near Andover in Hampshire. The story is that the cockatrice terrorised the village until it was imprisoned in the dungeons below Wherwell Priory. A prize of land was offered to anyone who could kill the creature. None was successful, until a man named Green lowered a mirror into the dungeon. The cockatrice battled against its own reflection until exhausted, at which point Green was able to kill it. Today there is an area of land near Wherwell called Green’s Acres. For many years a weather vane in the shape of a cockatrice adorned the church of St. Peter and Holy Cross in Wherwell until it was removed to Andover Museum.’ Source.
A cockatrice has the head and feet of a cockerel, the tail of a serpent and wings. But this depends on the source, since other places have it as a creature with the head of a rooster and the body of a dragon. Sometimes it has red or black eyes.
It is said a cockatrice is the result of a seven year old cockerel’s egg, which is laid during a full moon and then hatched for nine years by a serpent or toad.
Similar to Medusa, the cockatrice can cause death with a single glance, so anything catching its sight will turn into stone. And just in case you make it past it’s deadly eyes, this creature has a saliva so poisonous that it can knock out an elephant. To protect yourself, a mirror will help turn the cockatrice’s reflection back on itself, or better yet, if you happen to have a weasel in your possession, they will attack the cockatrice. Another option is using a cockerel whose crowing induces fatal fits to the cockatrice.
So lesson learned, always carry a mirror or weasel around with you. What the hell, take both to be on the safe side!!
Appearances In Culture
- The Cockatrice is the villain of The Book of the Dun Cow, a novel by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
- The Darkangel Trilogy features a guardian-creature named Elverlon, which is a cockatrice but lacks any legs. It is one of several artificial beings created by the character known as “the lady Ravenna” to protect the various regions of a terraformed moon.
- In the book and TV animation of The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell, the heroes must stop an army of cockatrices from conquering the land of Mythologia. The wizard who founded Mythologia removed the cockatrices’ ability to kill with a stare, but they can breathe fire. The weasels need to consume rue before they will be effective against the cockatrices.
- In the field guide for The Spiderwick Chronicles, these creatures are mentioned.
- The cockatrice is featured in Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games.
- It has also been a recurring enemy in the Final Fantasy series.
- The basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has some cockatrice-like qualities: the power to petrify or kill with its gaze; being born from a chicken egg incubated by a toad; and can be killed by the crowing of a rooster. Hermione Granger also mentions a separate cockatice species in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when discussing the Triwizard Tournament.
- On the TV series Merlin, a cockatrice is encountered in series 1, episode 4, “The Poisoned Chalice”.
- In the anime series “Digimon” appears a Cockatrice-like digimon called “Kockatorimon” which was able to turn their enemies into stone.
- A cockatrice appears in the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic episode “Stare Master”.
- The Cockatrice is a “DDS” card in Castlevania : Circle of the moon.
- In the 2003 video game Castlevania: Aria or Sarrow in the “Floating Garden” area. It fires a petrification beam from it’s eyes. It’s “Bullet Soul” grants the player the same attack/ability when equipped.
- The Cockatrice is both an enemy and a summoned familiar in RuneScape.
Did you know? They are also known as a Basilisk. It gets that name from the Greek basilískos, “little king.” This comes from the white mark on its forehead, which resembles a crown.
Previous Mythical Creature Posts:
Marchosias, Ningyo, Abatwa, Cait Sith, Anka, Huldra, iele, Manticore, Hantu Demon, Lich, Joan The Wad, Fomorian, Rakshasa, Hellhound, Sleipnir, Three-Legged Crow, Afanc, Tarasque, Echidna, Alkonost, Landvaettir, Hippocampus