F is for… Feiyi
One variety of Feiyi-snake catalogued in the Shan Hai Jing has six legs and four wings, and is an omen of drought. Maybe it’s a grasshopper or locust? After all, those show up in warm weather too.
E is for… Emela-ntouka
The Emela-ntouka is a big one-horned creature with a heavy crocodilian tail. It is also a surviving ceratopsian dinosaur because there’s no way sub-Saharan people could come up with it on their own.
D is for… Drac
Half dragon, half goblin, all shapeshifting mischief-maker, the Drac lives in the waterways of France. It has a tendency to abduct human girls to serve as wet nurses in its underwater kingdoms.
C is for… Chang Nam
The minuscule Chang Nam – “water elephant” – of Thailand is a feared and deadly creature. Despite being the size of mouse, this poisonous pint-sized pachyderm can kill merely by stabbing a person’s shadow or reflection.
B is for… Bøjg
Peer Gynt runs into the Great Bøjg of Etnedal during his adventures. It is huge, shapeless, slimy, slippery, and misty; it impedes Peer’s movements no matter where he turns. Running into this troll feels like blundering into a den of sleepy growly bears. Which is an adorable simile.
A is for… Abada
According to Olfert Dapper, the African unicorn called the Abada has two horns – one on its forehead, and one on its nape. Maybe he was really confused about where a rhino’s eyes are?