Monday, November 30, 2009

Beauty Killed the Beast

November is about to flatline and accordingly, it's time to serve up another monster for your reading pleasure. We at the Hyper Kitchen are proud to introduce the tragic Tarasque, a creature from the medieval folklore of France.

According to legend, the Tarasque had an especially impressive lineage, as it was the spawn of the biblical Leviathan (which, depending on who you ask, was either a colossal sea-serpent or a monstrous fish). Despite its aquatic parentage, the Tarasque was strictly landlocked. It crawled on six, bear-like legs and had the head of a lion. Its shaggy, scaly body was protected by an enormous tortoise shell and its tail had the deadly sting of a scorpion. The Tarasque wandered the countryside of Nerluc, Gaul, laying waste to villages and devouring those poor bastards who tried to stop it. One day, while the Tarasque was busy gnawing on the bones of its latest victim, the beast was discovered by the wandering Saint Martha. Rather than fleeing in terror, Martha bathed the Tarasque in holy water and showed it the cross. The power of Christ compelled the savage Tarasque to abandon its evil ways.

Entirely tame, the Tarasque followed Martha back to Nerluc. The villagers, horrified at the monster's arrival, hurled their spears. Turning the other cheek as Jesus would have done, the Tarasque never fought back, and perished from their injuries. Saint Martha admonished the villagers for slaying the monster, and she promptly converted the lot of them to Christianity. The now pious villagers sought to repent for their actions and re-named their village in honor of the murdered monster. Thus the city of Tarascon was founded. To this day, the inhabitants of Tarascon celebrate the Tarasque on the last Sunday of every June, and it can also be seen on their official flag.
Still, let this be a warning: beware of strange women bearing holy water. You'll wind up being speared to death.

Would you like to know more?


  1. That ending made me laugh pretty hard.

  2. That last label made me laugh so hard.