Mystical Beast: I Meet a Manticore or Manticora

I was cleaning out the garage when I heard a voice from under my workbench. The voice was like a small trumpet or pipe, or a pipe and small trumpet, or like something I had never heard before. The voice said, “Please don’t hurt me.”

I said, “Come on out of there creature with the weird voice.”

I took my shotgun down from the wall just in case it was big but had a small voice.

The critter bounded out from under my workbench and prostrated itself in front of me. It said, “Please get me a bowl of cereal. I’m dying of hunger and thirst.”

It’s head was that of a bearded man but the body was something else. I said, “Did your father marry a lioness?”

He said, “Of course not! The cereal?”

I headed for the kitchen to get the cereal. I tried to stay away from his tail. His tail looked like it might be harmful, sort of like the posterior of a scorpion.

I grabbed a large bowl, poured half a box of my precious Wheaties® into it, and then a half-gallon of fat-free milk.

My wife came in the kitchen and said, “Got a big day?”

I said, “I can’t talk to you now. I’ve a weird creature to feed.”

She said, “A weird creature other than you?”

She followed me into the garage.

That was this morning.

The last time I saw my wife she was first breaking Jamaican Asafa Powell’s world record for the men’s 100 meters of 9.77 seconds, and then Roger Bannister’s record of 3:59.4 for the mile run. See and

I think it was the creature’s three layers of teeth that got to her.

Well, she’ll be back.

While the weird critter was slurping down the cereal, I went to my computer to see if I could find a site with a Weird Creature Field Guide.

At I found Dave’s Mythical Creatures and Places.

I scanned down the category list. It was not under the following categories:

“Biblical Beings- Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Tetramorph, and others..

“Serpents & Dragons- Dragons, Amphiptere, Amphisbaena, Basilisk, Chimera, Cockatrice, Hydra, Gorgon, Wyvern (also Lindworm), and others…

“Winged Beasts-Caladrius, Gansas, Griffin, Goose Tree, Hippogriff, Martlet (and Bird of Paradise), Opinicus, Pegasus, Peryton, Phoenix, Roc, and others…

“Land Beasts- Bonnacon, Bunyip, Cerberus, Gulon, Ibex, Lamb Tree, Mantygre, Mermecolion, Musimon, Salamander, Su Unicorn, Yale, Yppotryll, and others…

“Sea Creatures- Devil Whale, Kraken, Nereid, Mermaid, Scylla, Siren, Sea Bishop, Sea Monk, Sea Horse, Sea Lion, Sea Serpent, Siren, and others…”

Although I had an interest in the Tetramorph, the Wyvern or Lindworm, the Peryton, the Yppotryll, and especially the Siren, I had to move on to:

“Part-Human creatures- Centaur, Harpies, Ipotane, Lamia, Manticore (and Catoblepas and Leucrocuta), Moon-Woman, Satyr, Sphinx, and others…”

There I found the Manticore or Manticora, the creature eating my Wheaties®.

I went back into the garage to tell this creature he was a Manticore or a Manticora.

The bowl was empty, not even a drop of milk was left on the floor of the garage.

He was gone! Not even a note!

I kicked myself. Why didn’t I get my lariat around that creature before I went for the cereal?

How stupid can I be?

Sadly, I went back to my computer and added the Manticora to my listing of Weird Creatures I’ve Seen in the Field.

I didn’t even get his name.

This afternoon, I had one of my grandiose visions. I decided that if I put a bowl of tempting Wheaties® in my garage, the critter would return.

I got out my camp cot, a flashlight, and my lariat.

If that bugger comes back tonight, I will have him in my grasp.

copyright©2006 John T. Jones, Ph.D.