#atozchallenge: Jackalope

jackalope =
jackrabbit + antelope

 

Jackalope_101
Jackalope (source: SedesGhobani/Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The jackalope: half jackrabbit, half antelope. Or so the story goes. Created in the 1930’s by Douglas Herrick and his brother, taxidermists and hunters, from a jackrabbit’s body and a deer’s antlers, they sold the first one to a hotel in Douglas, Wyoming. The Herrick Brothers are gone now, but other taxidermists still make them, and you see them all over in bars and restaurants. The Wyoming Legislature once had a resolution naming the jackalope the state’s official mythical creature. It’s related to the Bavarian Wolpertinger, which has wings as well and is said to inhabit the forests there.

There’s considerable folklore associated with the jackalope. In Central America, fo example, the story goes that a deer mated with a jackalope and that’s where the deer got its horns from.

Have you heard of other mythical animals that are improbable combinations of other animals? I know in the Uncle Wiggily series, there’s the Pipsisewah, who has a rhinoceros’s head with a giraffe’s body and a lion’s tale, and the Chinese Shen Lung is a dragon with a camel’s head, rabbit’s eyes, stag’s horns, bull’s ears, tiger paws and eagle claws. What else?

J

18 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Jackalope

  1. This post made me think of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories like ‘How the Whale got his Throat’ and ‘How the Camel got his Hump’. I loved those tales as a kid. Not exactly fictional characters however! I’m enjoying your A to Z.

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  2. The Jackalope is one of my favorite fictional animals. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s in Idaho, farmers were over populated by jack rabbits. They caused quite a bit of damage to the farmers crops. As a result, there were ‘Bunny Bashings’ We used to tell people from out of town that there were so many rabbits that they started mating with the antelope and thus the Jackalope came about.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge J is for Jewel

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  3. I’ve seen these darn jackalope creations all over the west. Somewhere I guess there’s a monument built in order of the creature. I haven’t seen it in person, but I’ve seen a lot of postcards with the picture of it. Then again maybe that’s not real either.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  4. Hey! I have actually heard of this one! Although I didn’t realize they had that large of antlers. I bet it looks pretty silly on a rabbit sized animal in the wild.

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    1. I read somewhere that jackrabbits are actually hares, not rabbits, not that there’s much of a difference other than the size. I don’t think you’re going to see many jackalopes, anyway…

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  5. Ever read Bloom County comics? They were always talking about a Jackalope. I loved Bloom County.
    What about the platypus? Bill like a Duck, Feet like an Otter, Tail like a Beaver and it lays eggs. Surely this is a mythical creature if ever I heard of one.

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