Y is for Yale

‘He appears to me.’

‘Chaser of dreams,’ they spit the words as a blasphemy.

I speak of it no more.

On misted morns we roam the green hills,

when the moon wanes and waxes

enough for both guidance and abscondance

’tis time to scale the grey boulders

that line the mountain’s sides

and with the passing years we attune

one to the other,



alone together,

hidden above when the giants came

and none escaped the long sticks

made from earth and sorcery,

wielded in a blood storm.

A tempest of frenzied search followed,

prey and hunters both in pursuit of veiled locus.


your great horns struck them dumb

dealing a deadly dance of  eviceration successively,

frothing hide, burning eyes, pounding hooves

the victory stance.

‘He appears to me,’ I whisper to self,

and I need speak of it no more…


1. A creature from medieval belief that has the body of a goat, tail and tusks of a boar, the head of goat and the feet of a Unicorn. It has horns on its head that can rotate in their place. The Yale is the size of a horse and has multi-coloured spots on its hide. The name Yale comes from the Hebrew ‘ya-el’ meaning ‘mountain goat’. Similar to Yali and Centicore. Sourced from: Mythical Creatures List.

2. The Yale is a four legged beast from Ethiopia and India its colour is a tawny brown or black. It is about the size of a horse; it looks much like a deer but has the lower jaws of a boar with its tusks. The Yale has movable horns that it can control.
The Yale can move a single horn forward to use as in a lance like fashion, the other horn moves out of the way to protect it. If one horn is damaged in a fight it moves the other horn in to place to resume the attack. The Yale is seen in British heraldry it is ones of the Queens beasts and is featured on the arms of Christ’s college, Cambridge University. Sourced from: Mythological Creatures by Lee Masterson.

3. “The size of a hippopotamus, with an elephant’s tail, of a black or tawny color with the jaws of a boar and movable horns more than a cubit long (17-22 inches)”  Sourced from: Zoomythology – David Alan Keith.

4. The mythological Yale was first written about by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History. The Yale then passed into medieval bestiaries and heraldry, where it represented proud defense.


For more ABC Wednesday posts see Y


  1. You mentioned you always learn from our blog, well, you’ve got a mighty informative blog yourself. Love this post! I’ll never think about the word/university Yale the same again!

    Also, our family is a big banjo music family AND one of Austraila’s rockabilly heroes, Billy “Crash” Craddock, is from Greensboro.

    Cheers Jo!



    1. I am on the hunt for all I can find on Pliny – such a fascinating character. He credited naked menstrating woman with the ability to scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightning, to sour wine and meat,turn seeds sterile, and wither plants. If she walks around the field naked (why she’d do that I’m not sure), caterpillars, worms and beetles will drop off the ears of corn. A woman (according to Plimy) had the ability to lull a storm out at sea by stripping off her clothing…
      I love the power he credits women with…just love it !!!


  2. Yeah, Pliny, Seneca and I used to yuck it up all the time, talking about Yales and naked menstruating women in fields. Oh, the laughs we had. 🙂 Hard to believe that simply because we committed something to parchment or velum, people would believe it. Kind of like the internet now. 😉


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