The Fortean Times has posted an article on some of the more bizarre beasts that were said to once inhabit the wilds of France.

Among some of the more intriguing creatures are the Vouivre, a serpentine HYBRID-BEAST usually portrayed with the head and upper body of a voluptuous woman. She is said to have a ruby or garnet set into her head between the eyes, with which she is able to guide herself through the underworld.

Yet another ferocious fiend is the Tarasque, a six-legged tortoise with a lion’s head and an old woman’s face, who lives in the “heart-of-darkness” and kidnaps washerwomen presumably to drag to their doom and the

Other interesting creatures include the in the Chiche-face, a sort of starveling she-wolf who eats only obedient wives. According to the French, these “faithful” women are rare; thus the creature’s represented as being emaciated. On the other side of the coin is the Bigorne, a bloated, scaly monster with a triple tail that lives exclusively on husbands who are ruled by their wives. These weak fellas are many; resulting in the creature’s obesity.

While these creatures are clearly part of Europe’s rich mythological lore, one cannot entirely discount that some of these descriptions may be loosely based on what where once very real predators that may have stalked the French countryside, not unlike the legendary BEAST OF GEVAUDAN.