In a time all but forgotten by the human race and across many oceans to be sure, there lived a king of great prominence. His decree was the highest word in the land. He lived in a royal castle and ate all the finest foods ships could bring. His clothes were made of the finest silks and stitched by the best tailors.
The king had the people to build a very high wall around the castle. It only had one huge door that was guarded every moment. He wanted to make sure everyone was safe from outside intruders. The guards were told to kill anyone that plotted against the king or broke his laws. Everyone was happy and life was very peaceful.
The farmers planted their crops, the shepherds took care of the animals, the women gave birth and the single girls made clothes for all the common people. The king’s army carried the sharpest swords and worked out everyday. Their strength had to be great in order to take care of all the people and be ready to fight for the king at a moments notice.
During this time there were serpents and weird animals we don’t see today. Perhaps they have all been killed or maybe they are just hiding waiting for the right time to re-appear.
One day an old black lady named Ida Mae Furmute ran out into the village screaming to the top of her lungs. She was terrified! She begged the soldiers to go into her house and kill the ugly beast inside.
“He looks like some creature from another time and place. Just kill the monster before he brings others inside the castle walls.” She pleaded. “It is from hell I just know it. His bellowing crow and petrifying gaze are the devil’s handy work!” She wailed. “It must have been hatched by a serpent or toad!” She continued waving her arms in the air.
Seeing how terrified the lady was, the soldiers went inside her small dwelling. What they saw was something few eyes have ever seen and fewer have lived to tell about. It was about two feet tall and its tail whipped like a lethal weapon making his length at least four feet long. Its body looked like a dragon but it had the head of a rooster. Its claws were as sharp as razors. The gaze from its red eyes turned any human close to it into stone. Its breath smelled like burned sulfur or rotten eggs heated in the noonday sun. Its wings allowed it to fly around leaping from ceiling to the floor in a split second. One blast from its mouth cause instant death.
“Everyone got outside and we will bar the doors keeping the beast inside. Notify the king at once and ask him if we should try and capture it alive or simply kill the bloody thing.” The soldier shouted loudly.
By this time everyone on that side of the kingdom was petrified. How did this thing get inside the castle walls? Were there more of them lurking in the shadows? No one could be sure and no one had any answers.
“It’s the Cockatrice. I know it for sure!” The wizard pronounces as he peeped through a small hole in the wooden door. “We must get a weasel to kill him at once or he will mate with all the chickens. Then all the eggs will hatch with many of these devil-like creatures. Only a weasel or the sound of a rooster crowing will kill this beast.” The wizard informed the guards. So the guards called for a weasel to be found and slipped it inside the crack in the door. This way was safe and no one would be hurt. After all they had never seen such a creature before.
When the king heard what the wizard had said he ordered the cockatrice killed and brought before him.
“His gaze can turn people into stone and if he breeds with our chickens they will lay eggs that have no shell.” The wizard declared to the king.
The soldiers had mounted the creature onto two tree limbs and dragged the beast to the steps of the king’s castle. When the king’s eyes saw the hellish rooster and dragon he became very concerned for the safety of his kingdom. I have heard stories in my youth about the dreaded cockatrice.” I wanted to see one for myself!” the king announced to the soldiers and the crowd of people that had gathered to see the monster.
“Bring all the eggs in the kingdom before me to be examined immediately. Gather up all the winged birds to be sure this monster has not mated with any of them. All animals are now quarantined. We must be sure no other eggs hatch with the likes of this devilish monstrosity. No one is safe until every stable has been searched thoroughly.” The king ordered.
The people searched high and low but could not find another beast like the one they had killed. All eggs were gathered into baskets and inspected. All the eggs were regular eggs except the six round yellow colored ones that lay covered with straw in the stable with the sheep. No one found these odd shaped eggs.
“I had thought this was just a myth.” The king told his wife. I remember my father reading from a scroll when I was very small. It said there would come a time when god would make the whole world new again. The child could put his hand in the asp hole and the lion would lie down with the lamb. The child would play in the cockatrice nest. I believe that time is very close. My mother read to me about a celestial city with gates made of pearl. Its streets were made of the purest gold and no one would be fearful in that place. The devil and his angels would be cast into the lake of fire.” The king recalled his father’s words.
I can imagine that this beast we have re-discovered will be swept off the land. Freedom and love will reign throughout this celestial city. I can remember my mother as she lay dying. She took me by the hand and told me to be a good child and that she would see me again in another time and in another land. She closed her eyes and was gone. I really believe she is in that city.” He said as tears filled his eyes.
“I’m sure her spirit is safe in God’s hands and she is waiting to see us all again.” The queen spoke softly to her husband.
“There must be a hole somewhere within these walls that leads straight to hell and that evil cockatrice has his home down there.” He said as he reached for his sword.
“It’s time to rid my city of this evil thing. I won’t rest until every inch has been searched and searched again. Call forth the priest and declare of week of prayer.” He called.
So it came to be that the king kept his word and cleansed his kingdom. The priest led the prayers daily and peace slowly returned to the kingdom.
But just outside the walls of the kingdom in a forest so forlorn a sorcerer found six round yellowish eggs. Quickly he carried them home and carefully placed them underneath is sitting hens.
“It won’t be long until the eggs hatch and I’ll give them to the king. What a great present to his kingdom I will bring!” He cackled softly. The cockatrice has finally returned and this is just the beginning. The scorpions will come next with stingers as large as kitchen knives and they will sting everyone young and old.” The sorcerer mumbled.
“They say that when the cocke grows old, he lays a certain egg without any shell. Instead it is covered with very thick skin and it is able to withstand the greatest force or fall. They say it is laid only between July and September. It is not long but round or orbicular shaped. Sometimes it is yellowish and sometimes a muddy color. Afterwards it is sat upon by snake or toad and brings forth the cockatrice. Its one foot in length, the hinder part like a snake, the head of a cocke, has a triple comb on his forehead. They say it is coming back and this time to stay!
Question: What does a cockatrice look like?
11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious
Written by Sybil Shearin
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