Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day XXXVII - Tarasque

Spiny-shelled monster,
Spreads fear through Southern France,
Tamed by Saint Martha.

A French legendary creature that calls to mind über-baddie Bowser from Super Mario video games, the Tarasque is a truly awesome hybrid monster. With six legs, a spiny turtle shell, a tail topped with a scorpion stinger and a lion's head, the fearsome beast is alleged to have terrified the Nerluc area of France until it was tamed by the prayer and charming power of Saint Martha sometime around 50 AD. The locals easily overcame their nemesis as it stopped resisting their attacks but, now being good Christian converts, regretted their actions afterwards. Thus, they renamed their town Tarascon and continue to hold an annual festival in honour of the slain beast. The legend has led to a multitude of brilliant carnival models and some aesthetically-pleasing sculptures and artworks. An inspirational entity from the South of France, it's only right that the spectacular spiky-shelled monster be saluted.

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