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Elwetritschefountain by Gernot Rumpf in Neustadt an der Weinstraße

The Elwetritsch (also spelled Elwedritsch) is a cryptid or mythical creature that supposedly inhabits the Palatinate of Germany. It is described as being a chicken-like creature with antlers.It also has scales instead of Feathers. The Elwedritsch had been quite forgotten in a while, till a Gentleman, named Espenschied "rediscovered" them. He began to organize "Hunting Parties" which were nothing more than playing a harmless prank on people. One of the Bavarian Kings was once served roasted, small birds for dinner, which were declared to be Elwetritsche, but were actually Quail. The Elwetritsch is supposedly very shy, but also very curious. A hunting party consists of a "Fänger" (Catcher) which is equipped with a big potato sack and a lantern and the "Treiber" (Beaters). The catcher is led into the woods where the Elwetritsch is supposed to live, instructed to wait in a clearing with his sack and lantern, while the beaters will supposedly roust the Elwetritsch. The light of the lantern is said to be attractive to the curious creature, so they come to investigate and will then be caught by the catcher. While he waits, everyone heads back to the Gasthaus or wherever the party had previously assembled, to wait for the patsy to realize, he had been fooled.([1]

Like the jackalope, the Elwetritsch is thought to have been inspired by sightings of wild rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus, which causes the growth of antler-like tumors in various places, including on the head.

Memorials for the Elwetritsch

Many memorials can be found in the Palatinate:

  • Dahn:
    • Elwetritschefountain
    • Elwetritsche lecture trail
    • Elwetritsche hiking trail
    • Elwetritsche memorial in municipal park
    • local Carnival club uses Elwetritsche as mascot
  • Neustadt an der Weinstraße:
    • Elwetritschefountain (see pic)
  • Winnweiler:
    • local brewery uses Elwetritsche as mascot

See also

References

  1. ^ Boegner, Gert (2003) (in German). Im Süden der Pfalz: Rebland- Wälder- Burgen. Sonstige. pp. 144–148. ISBN 3881903399. http://books.google.com/books?id=sXd5MqUIX0oC&pg=PA145&dq=Elwedritsche&num=100#PPA146,M1. Retrieved 2009-04-17. "Wiederentdeckt hat die Geschichte der Elvetritsche (auch Elwedritsche) "de Guscht" Espenschied, ..."  
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