Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Facts about the Chupacabra by JoAnne Myers

The chupacabra, meaning  "goat-sucker" is a legendary cryptic rumored to inhabit the Caribbean (chiefly Puerto Rico), Central and South America, North America (chiefly Mexico and southern United States). The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats, while leaving strange puncture marks in the animals neck.
How the chupacabra come about is also made of countless myths and legends. In my fantasy anthology, “Loves, Myths, and Monsters,” one tale entitled “Welcome to Anna,” describes the creature originating from South America thousands of years ago. There was a jungle god, who killed a female coyote when she attacked him. Afterward, the jungle god realized she had a puppy. Since he had no wife, he cast a spell over the puppy transforming it into a human mate.
Over time the wife gave the jungle god three sons, but when they became men they also wanted wives, because their mother was the only woman at that time. The jungle god said to the three brothers, ‘The one of you who designs the perfect woman will be made Chief and given a wife. He will become the producer of mankind.”
So the oldest brother, named Lujuree, molded a woman from clay, but when it began to rain and the clay washed away. Then the middle brother, called Kujuli, molded a woman from wax, but she melted in the jungle sun. Then the youngest brother, Mopo, made a woman from wood and his father loved it so much, he made the youngest brother the Chief. That enraged Lujuree and Kujuli, so they killed Mopo.
For their punishment, their father cursed them for eternity. He turned the first brother into a coyote, an animal scavenging for rats and snakes, so all the people would hate it, then he sealed the second brother’s soul inside the same animal so the two souls would struggle continuously for dominance. During the full moon, the second brother becomes very strong, using the moon’s mystical powers, and the coyote turns into a hideous, blood-thirsty creature, roaming the night and sucking the blood from its victims. So the brothers are now either a chupacabra or a coyote, and they are feared and hunted no matter what shape they take. But it’s just a legend?
Physical descriptions of the creature are as colorful as a rainbow. It is reportedly a heavy creature, anywhere from the size of a small bear, to nine feet tall, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Some individuals claiming to have witness livestock attacks, described the creature as having large ears, whiskers, a long tail, and about the size of a house cat. Others described the creature as a “four-legged Dracula and a scrawny, scraggly thing.”
In “Welcome to Anna,” the chupacabra is enormous. Long gray/brown fur covers its entire body. Its teeth are large razor sharp and fanged. Its claws are long and curved, with eyes almost human, as it walks upright. 
Most authorities report these animals as being coyotes, fox/coyotes, or wild dogs suffering from Sarcoptes scabiei, a severe case of mange. That symptom would explain most of the features of the reported Chupacabras: they would be left with little or strange looking fur, thickened skin, and rank odour.
The reason this creature is said to kill goats and other small livestock is due to the fact that carnivores infected with mange, are greatly weakened, making it difficult for these sickly animals to hunt. So they may be forced into attacking livestock because it's easier than running down a rabbit or a deer.
Countless legends abound along with movies, books, and documentaries concerning the chupacabra. I once saw video footage capturing this bizarre creature believed to be a chupacabra, on episodes of the Syfy television series Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.  The video was at times so grainy, that creature running around on camera, could have been a child in an animal costume.
My heroine from “Welcome to Anna” is Zoe. She lost her grandparents/guardians to a strange looking dog/coyote, while leaving her with minor injuries. Zoe must then return to the states to live with her estranged mother, Teresa. Little does Zoe realize, but the Chupacabra who attacked her and her grandparents followed her.  What happens next is a series of chilling mysteries, and unsuspecting friendships and love.
If you enjoy reading about monsters, danger, suspense, with romance thrown in, you will love “Loves, Myths, and Monsters.”

Excerpt from “Welcome To Anna”
Setting: Zoe is out with new friends cliffhanging.

    As we rode by the scene, we heard Jake conversing with the sheriff and veterinarian. “Did ya’ find something?” Jake asked.
    “Look at these huge strange footprints,” said the vet. “They lead only to the animals, not away from them.” Those words should have warned me.
    Once at the cliffs, we were joined by Dennis’s friend Nate and his twin sister Maggie, who had the needed climbing equipment. Both were tall, slender, and beautiful.
    While the guys sorted the gear, Annette gave me the “lowdown” on the sheriff and second deputy. The stocky twenty-nine-year-old Jim Darrell, was a church-going family man who served four years in the National Guard. He and his wife regularly dished out free food at the soup kitchen twice a week.
    The sheriff, Orville Snoke was short, pudgy and baldheaded, wore glasses, chewed tobacco, and gambled on anything and everything. He buddied with Jake and the vet.
    I was glad I came. The cliffs were tall and close to the lake, I saw from Teresa’s back deck. Pine trees surrounded the entire body of water.
    I frowned. “This is state-owned land, isn’t it?”
    “Yes,” said Dennis, “but your mom and her boyfriend are friends with the law, right?”
    Aha! Now I knew why Dennis invited me. “Yeah, I guess so.”
    “Great! Now let’s teach this virgin how to climb.” Dennis laughed, and all eyes focused on me.
    Oh, how embarrassing I thought. How do they know I am a virgin? I felt my face turn scarlet.
    Nate handed me a climbing harness, while Annette explained, “Don’t sweat it, Zoe. You said you’d never climbed before, so you are the virgin of the bunch…which means you go last.”
    Laughing awkwardly, I tried to recover. “Oh, yeah! I get it. No sweat.”
    Maggie the pro, strapped me into my safety harness and up they went, with my trailing. From the top, I saw Teresa’s house. The view was “awesome”, from that height. The clouds looked close enough to touch.
    “This is amazing,” I said. “Panama is mostly flat lands and I lived near the ocean, but the country here is great.” Maybe moving here was not so bad after all, I thought.
    “It’s the Navy for me,” said Nate resting on a nearby boulder. “As soon as I graduate, I’m gone.”
    “What did you mean when you asked Teresa, if the people and goats were killed the same way?” I asked Dennis.
    “I heard a news report stating all the victims were killed the same way and no weapons were used,” he said.
    “You mean the killer used his bare hands?” Maggie asked. “How creepy.”
    “Do police suspect a serial killer?” I asked. Dennis shrugged his shoulders. “That’s peculiar for this area, isn’t it?” I asked. “I mean don’t psychopaths hunt in big cities?”
    “Nothing is strange for the Chupacabra,” Nate said then laughed.
    That is now the third time I have heard the word Chupracabra. “There‘s no such creature,” I said. “It’s just a dumb legend.”
    “Most legends stem primarily from reality.” Dennis now frowned.
About JoAnne Myers 

JoAnne lives in Ohio and works for a nursing home. She is a cross genre author of 7 books and canvas paints. She believes in family values and following your dreams.

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