A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 11: Fantasy Squad – Jersey Devil and the Jabberwock

JMy topic de jour is actually two-fold. I’m hitting a run of difficult letters when it comes to creature representation in media, but both of the squad members today are kind of fun. There is also a link, tenuous though it might be, to dragons.

The Jersey Devil by Sparkleee-Sprinkle Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Macabre & Horror©2012-2015 Sparkleee-Sprinkle
The Jersey Devil by Sparkleee-Sprinkle
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Macabre & Horror©2012-2015 Sparkleee-Sprinkle

Jersey Devil

This creature comes from Native American folklore and is also referred to as the Leeds Devil. Said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in Southern New Jersey, this legendary beast would make a gruesome sight; with its goat’s head, leathery, bat-like wings, horns, clawed hands, forked tail and hooves. The creature also moves fast and emits a blood-curdling scream. I’m sure you’ll agree that it is the stuff of nightmares.

The legend is an interesting one, and a popular origin story details the Jersey Devil as the offspring of Mother Leeds – her thirteenth child to be exact. Reputed to be a witch, Mother Leeds gave birth to the creature (who was perhaps fathered by the Devil), at which point the newborn killed the midwife and fled.

The Jersey Devil is a cultural icon in the state, inspiring several organisational nicknames.

This is the point where I came unstuck. There are reportedly several television programmes and movies incorporating the Jersey Devil, but I only know of one. In Episode 9 (Season 7), Dean, Sam and Bobby hunted a Jersey Devil in Supernatural. If you know of more references in media I would love to hear about them.

Jabberwock by Ravenfire5 Fan Art / Digital Art / Drawings / Other
Jabberwock by Ravenfire5
Fan Art / Digital Art / Drawings / Other

Jabberwock

Jabberwocky is a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll. It is included in his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There – the story details Alice’s journey within a back-to-front world of a looking glass. The poem has been translated in many languages and the lexicon studied quite considerably.

Artists have illustrated the Jabberwock in a variety of ways. Sometimes the Jabberwock is a huge, monstrous beast with bat-like wings, and others the creatures is depicted as more dragon-like in appearance. Whatever the interpretation, it is clear Carroll intended the Jabberwock to have bite!

Jabberwock in Media

  • The song Beware of the Jabberwock was written for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – a musical rendition of the Jabberwocky verse.
  • The poem was inspiration for the 1977 film Jabberwocky by Terry Gilliam.
  • In Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the Jabberwock makes an appearance and is voiced by Christopher Lee. A version of the poem is also spoken by the Mad Hatter, played by Johnny Depp.
  • The Jabberwock also featured in Peta Sergeant’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as a human-shaped monster who was able to detect fear in others.
  • The stage musical Jabberwocky by Andrew Kay, Malcolm Middleton and Peter Phillips, also follows the basic plot of the poem.

Both creatures are fascinating, especially their different origins. What do you think of the poem, or how do you envisage the Jabberwock? Have you encountered the legend of the Jersey Devil? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The post today was also part of Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Mel

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