At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.
KING ARTHUR AND THE BIRDS
King Arthur is a legendary king of the Ancient Britons who, after the Roman withdrawal from Britain, is said to have fought with the incoming English. (The descendants of the Ancient Britons include the Welsh, Cornish and Bretons). Whether Arthur ever existed is a moot point, but legend asserts he was connected with a number of birds, notably the Chough.
The Chough is a red-legged bird of the crow family, regarded as the national bird of Cornwall. In the Cornish language it is called
According to a folktale, choughs were once black all over. The wizard Merlin had a pet chough which could understand human speech. One night a schemer named Murdoch sought to murder Arthur's queen. The chough attacked and killed him. When Arthur arrived on the scene, the bird's beak and legs were red with the malefactor's blood. The loyal fowl was knighted at once by Arthur. Since then, all choughs' legs have been red.
After Arthur's death, it was believed he turned into a chough. A variant of the legend has it that he turned into a raven. One source asserts he turned into a puffin.
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