Scary Creatures That Aren't So Scary
Don't Be Afraid
Society is riddled with misunderstanding. As human beings we make judgements and assumptions about one another based on everything from religion to shoe size. It's unfortunate. Sadly we extend our judgemental tendencies to many of the most benevolent creatures existing in the natural and mythological worlds. For instance:
Bats--Bats are symbols of good luck in Chinese and Gypsy folklore, they were admired for their peaceful communal living in medieval Europe, and they factor in the creation myths of various cultures. Besides that they're cute, (except for the ones that are ugly) having the appearance of flying puppies. Recently the saliva of vampire bats has been used to treat human stoke victims, bless their hearts.
Dragons--Eastern cultures associate dragons with good luck, the natural elements, virility and knowledge. Their reputation took a wrong turn somewhere within the depths of European folklore.
Crows--Crows are funny, social, enormously intelligent and very family oriented. One native American legend teaches that the black feathers and raspy voice of the crow were gifts from The Creator to reward the crow for his good deeds. The crow's "unappealing" appearance was to protect him from being captured and caged by humans as other birds often are.
Gargoyles--The purpose of a gargoyle is to frighten away evil spirits that might approach a building. Their purpose for existing is to protect us from the very thing they are accused of being, poor dears. Oh, and also to act as a decorative water spouts.
Spiders--Spiders appear in Native American and African creation myths. Old English legend indicates that if you find a spider in your clothes, good luck or money is headed your way. Historically it has been considered bad luck to kill a spider in the house, and why would you want to anyway? They're providing free pest control. And of the over 34,000 recorded species of spiders, only around 12 of those are known to be harmful to humans--so trot on down to your local spider adoption league and bring home a cuddly spider friend. It's also interesting to note that even though there are around 34,000 recorded species of spiders, it is estimated that there are as many as 100,000 total spider species in existence --most are as of yet undocumented. If this is the case then the spider kingdom deserves kudos for pulling off one of the world's most prolific secret societies.
Snakes--Only ten percent of the world's snakes are venomous and in ancient Greece they were thought to have such powerful healing abilities that they could cure by touch alone.
Ticks--Just kidding. Ticks really are scary. They are revolting, nasty, diabolical blood suckers and their sole purpose on the planet is to spread disease (and horror, I might add). They are tiny uber-masters of population control and all they really want to do is to kill you.
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