If you’re reading this episode of an Adventurer’s Guide to Beasties, you are still alive. This means you have been heeding my advice, and may yet become an ace cryptozoologist like myself. I’m very proud. But til now things have been easy. Any fool can spot a man-sized frog or a blood-drenched crow. Today’s lesson is about how to see danger everywhere, suspect everything, trust no one, not even me. Not even a rabbit with antlers that was made up sometime in the 30s by some guys from Wyoming.
In fairness, pairing jackrabbits and antelopes has a tradition in the native American traditions, where rabbits are commonly held as tricksters or keepers of wisdom, and where shapeshifting is kind of a recurring theme. The are even some quacks who blame jackalope sightings on a condition called the cottontail rabbit papilloma virus which causes unsightly growths to appear around the suffering rabbit’s head, not unlike antlers. Pfft. They are clearly in the pockets of the liberal conspirators and enemies of the revolution.
Enough small talk. Jackalopes are smart, and fast, and vicious when cornered. Although skilled escapesmen, the jackalope’s bite can be deadly, and only skilled hunters with an official jackalope hunting license issued by the state of Wyoming (this is a real thing that people may obtain) during the official jackalope hunting season on June 31 between midnight and 2am (also a thing) should attempt it. Alternatively you can leave out a jar of whisky overnight; the jackalope is a notorious drinker and will be much easier to catch with a hangover. Be aware though: they are capable mimics and have been known to throw their pursuers off the trail by shouting misleading statements in their own voices. Presumably because they get totally self-conscious and start thinking ‘aw man do I sound like that oh wait that was a rabbit.’
Granted, the jackalope is not the most fearsome monster in the closet, and doesn’t come close to the wampus cat (a cursed half-woman half-cat who foretells death by screaming), or the wendigo (a human who ate another human and thus turned into an emaciated humanoid who continues to eat other humans, of course) in the doom stakes. But this guide is to inform as much as to protect, and there is no information so spurious that it may not broaden your perception of this great beastly world we live in.
Ever had a run in with a jackalope? Did your voice sound weird coming from a rabbit? Tell us in the comments section below.