Sorry, no toads or hen eggs, but would really love to heaar about the
unicorn and what to do with a dead dragon!
>And just because Halloween is the best time of the year... and because
>I'm a bit bored... I've been flipping through the more interesting bits
>of Hildegarde's Physica. Among the gems that every housewife should
>know: how to catch a unicorn, what to do with a dead dragon, and of
>course, the nature of a Basilisk.
>"The basilisk is born from certain vermin that are somewhat diabolical,
>that is, from toads. Sometimes, when the toad has been impregnated and
>is going to bring forth young, if she sees the egg of a serpent or hen,
>she loves it and lies over it. She warms it until she gives birth to her
>naturally conceived young.
>These die as soon as they are born. Seeing them dead, she again places
>herself over the egg and warms it until the young in that egg has begun
>to live. Soon, a particular power of the diabolical art of the ancient
>serpent touches it. This power rests in the Antichrist, and just as he
>resist all heavenly beings, so this animal fights against all mortals,
>killing them. After the toad senses that the thing in the egg is alive,
>she is immediately astounded by this unusual occurance and flees. The
>animal breaks through its shell and emerges. It naturally sends out very
>strong breath, similar to thunder and lighting. The fire within it can
>be very fierce and strong, without the torments of Tartarus. It comes
>from its shell and with its breath it splits the earth almost to the
>depth of five cubits. It then lies in this split of moist earth until it
>grows to maturity. Then it climbs back up to earth, killing with its
>breath all the living things it finds. Nothing living desires, nor is
>able, to endure it. When it sees something that is alive, in its
>displeasure it sends cold and then its breath, so killing the creature
>it blew on. It falls immediately, as if struck by thunder and lighting.
>If a basilisk has died in a field or vineyard, and its cadaver has
>rotted there, that place will be unfruitful and sterile. If it dies and
>rots in any citadel or house, the people there will always be ill, and
>the animals in that place will frequently get disease and very often die
>from it." - Hildegarde's Physica, 12th century Germany.
>So.... anyone got a pregnant toad and some hen eggs? Enquiring minds and
>Her description of a unicorn is pretty wacked out too. :)
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