Mythical Beasts

June 12, 2010
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"Grandpa, tell us about one of the mythical beasts!" clamored the children, gathering around old Demitrius. Sighing, the old man took a book down from his shelf and began to read.

"This beast had great wings, great and large-"

"Was it a giant fly?" asked Rachel, a younger child who had never heard the tales before. She tilted her head curiously, but stuck out her tongue, implying her distaste of the idea.

"No! Shut up and let Grandpa read!" snapped her older brother, Tiassale. Lip trembling, Rachel began sniffling.

"No, no, Rachel, it was not a giant fly. It was much more magnificent than that. Its body was upright, almost like a human’s one. But instead of arms, it had these wings. The wings were shaped like triangles with curved hypotenuses, and covered with feathers."

"What are feathers?" asked Rachel curiously.

"It’s hard to explain. They were kind of long and oval-shaped, but pointy at the tips. There was a hard, hollow stick in the middle, kind of like a straw. The oval bit was made up of lots of very small, stiff hairs. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t have an illustration. Anyways, this creature’s wings were covered in feathers, and its whole body was as well, except for its legs. They were long and skinny and scaly."

"Scaly! Ew! Like a lizard, right?" asked Rachel. However, she seemed somewhat nervous when she spoke, as if afraid that Tiassale would scold her again.

"Yes, but not as disgusting. The feet were very strange. They were shaped like…rakes. Very short little fanned-out stubs, with sharp claws at the tip." Demitrius paused, letting the children try to form a mental image.

"It had several feathers at its hinder end-"

"What’s that?"

"…A butt."

The younger children burst out laughing. Demitrius rapped his knuckles against the arm of his chair for order. "As I was saying, those feathers were especially long, and were arranged in a fan formation. The creature’s head was oval-shaped and extended forwards, and it had a hard, bony growth like a giant claw divided into two instead of a mouth."

"What color was it?" asked Tiassale curiously.

"Well, it had mostly brown feathers, but its head was white. Its eye, which was oval-shaped and had no iris, was yellow. So were its legs and the growth on its face. Lastly, it had white claws."

"What was it called?"

"The bald eagle. Now shoo, shoo, off to bed with you! Remember to turn on your filters so you don’t suffocate in the night, and keep the windows closed so that the flies don’t fly in. Besides, the pollution out there stinks!"

And Demitrius put the book back on the shelf, settled back into his chair, and fell asleep, remembering to turn the filter on first.

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