There are creatures in the world that are legend or myths, they are referred to cryptids. Cryptids are animals or plants not recognized officially by the majority of the scientific community. Although there are scientists who do try to discover and study these creatures, their study is called Cryptozoology.
There are many theories about why cryptids exist. Some are that they are extinct creatures, or some form of evolutionary change to a current existing animal. Others state that cryptids are an illusion, a manifestation of a psychological need that our minds create.
Whatever the reason for the existence of these cryptids, there are many sittings of them throughout the world. The most famous of these are the Loch Ness Monster, Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot. Today, I am going to discuss a cryptid from the Swiss Alps: the Tazlewurm.
I set my novel, LEGEND OF THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS, in Switzerland. This location was perfect to show the magnificence of the Swiss Alps and the beauty of the valleys they surround.
As many of you know the premise of my novel. LEGEND OF THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS, is that the world has been taken over by monsters. Since my novel is also set in Switzerland, it was natural to include the Tazlewurm.
I researched the history of this creature and tried to describe it accurately in my novel. The following excerpt is from, LEGEND OF THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS:
"William could clearly see the creature that was attacking him now. It was about four feet long with a cat shaped head and ears, and had legs at the front with sharp claws. There were no legs at the back attached to its snakelike body, which twisted and moved around like a serpent. The creature’s rear would propel itself by slithering like a snake, while the claws on its front legs pulled it forward."
Another attribute to the Tazlewurm is its ability to generate a poisonous breath. The creature is supposedly able to breath out a toxic gas which can kill an animal, even as large as a full-grown man.
There are many reports throughout history of the Tazlewurm, the first documented sitting of this creature was in 1779. A man named Hans Fuchs saw this creature; he died from this encounter with the monster, but not before describing it to officials of the nearby town.
The sittings of the creature continued, even into this century. In 2009, many reports about this creature came from an area in Italy near the border of Switzerland. Officials stated these sittings were nothing more than people seeing “monitor lizards” which were pets and had escaped from their masters. No former monitor lizard pet was ever found in this area.
Whatever the creature is, a figment of the imagination, misidentification of a known animal, or even a previously thought extinct relic of an age gone by, this creature is now part of the Swiss legend of the Alps; I was happy to include this cryptid in my novel.