Myths and Folklore Wiki

The Cockatrice can cause death with a single glance. Reports indicate that anything catching sight of the lethal bird's eyes is turned instantly to stone. Just as deadly is their poisonous saliva which can fell even an elephant.

Also known as a Basilisk, a Cockatrice has the head and feet of a cockerel and the tail of a serpent. The Cockatrice is believed to be the product of a seven-year-old cockerel's egg, laid during a full moon and then hatched for nine years by a serpent or toad.

There are a few ways to protect oneself from a Cockatrice. One is to carry something reflective - like a mirror - and turn the creature's gaze back on it. Another is to keep either a weasel or a cockerel nearby. The weasel is said to be the mortal enemy of the Cockatrice, While the crowing of the cockerel is even more effective as it causes the Cockatrice to have fatal fits and ultimately thrash itself to death.


Cockatrices and Basilisks are related but not the same thing. Some believe that the difference between a cockatrice and a basilisk is the same difference between a tigon and a liger, it depends on which animal the "mother" is. Other think the difference is that the basilisk is purely a reptile while the cockatrice is more like a giant scaly chicken.


See also