Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Were-rabbit and Other Lycanthropes

I took my two sons to see Wallace & Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit on Easter. It was a great movie and we all enjoyed it. It was well written, funny, and did not run to long which is important when you take a 3-year old to the theater.

I thought the concept of the were-rabbit was cute. However, then I found the following headline, "Hunt for real life were-rabbit" at the BBC. The story noted, "Sharp-shooters have been brought in to defend allotment patches in Northumberland suffering from a real-life curse of the were-rabbit. The ravenous giant rabbit, named after the famed Wallace and Gromit character, is reported to have ripped up dozens of prize-winning leeks and turnips. Now growers in Felton, near Morpeth, have drafted in licensed gamekeepers with air rifles to halt the rampage."

These creatures are real! And they are dangerous. I have always heard about such creatures as werewolves and (from my Dungeon & Dragon playing days) wererats. But I had no idea there were other forms of lycanthropes. I should not have been surprised. Wikipedia's article on lycanthropy reports, "In folklore, Lycanthropy is the ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into a wolf. The term comes from ancient Greek lykánthropos (λυκάνθρωπος): λύκος, lýkos ("wolf") + άνθρωπος, ánthrōpos ("man"). The word lycanthropy is often used generically for any transformation of a human into animal form, though the precise term for that is technically therianthropy."

Here are some other interesting forms of lycanthropy that I found by doing some research:

Werepoodle. These poor humans are forced to turn into poodles on the nights of the full moon and follow old ladies around.

Weregerbil. They run on giant wheels all night and have an attitude about it! While they lose a lot of sleep, they are also in really good shape.

Wereparrot. When humans turn into a wereparrot, they gain the power of flight. However, they also lose the ability to speak unless they are repeating what someone else has said before. They are also compelled to repeat the same nonsense phrases over and over again for no apparent reason.

Wereskunk. This creature is to0 horrible to describe in this blog. I think a few library patrons I have dealt with may be wereskunks. The smell alone...

And there are probably hundreds of other types of werecreatures out there. Be prepared for anything when you walk the earth on nights of a full moon.

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