Jon MacNair - The Cockatrice


India ink on paper // 11" x 14"

​The cockatrice was a mythological creature with the body of a two-legged dragon and the head of a rooster (in some depictions it has a pair of wings affixed to its back). It was first described toward the end of the middle ages and appeared in poetry and lore of the Elizabethans. Reputedly the product of an egg laid by a male chicken and incubated by a serpent or toad, the cockatrice could kill anything it looked at or touched. It was said that the weasel was the only animal not affected by these fatal abilities. Death of a cockatrice could only be caused by the sound of a rooster crowing or the creature seeing its own reflection in a mirror.