This month we asked our readers:
Tell us about your favorite magical beast! (Domestic, farm, woodland, or mythical—they’re all fair game!)
My favorite “beast” is the selkie. Growing up near the ocean I was always enchanted by the seals playing gracefully in the waves or flopping on the sand. When I learned there was a creature that could turn into a seal, I was smitten immediately.
Swans are, without a doubt, my creatures. In the spiritual tradition to which I belong, swans have a very deep and rich lore and importance. But I also just love them for what they are. True, they can be highly defensive if they perceive a threat, but to see them with their mates and their families is just beautiful. I love swans in every world. And Aengus Aisling is the most beautiful of the swan-maiden stories, in my opinion. —Niamh Swan
I actually think all nature is magical—I don’t have a favorite. Everything has a story and a wonder. From frog song at twilight to the sound of hummingbird wings and the small footprints of fox journeys across the snow, it’s all magical to me. —Sunshine Livingstone
My favorite magical beast is the wee hedgehog. Every time you see one with that whimsical face you just have to smile. They’re so cuddly looking, so cute, it brings joy the same way a laughing baby brings. We need smiles and happiness even in wee doses. Hedgehogs bring big doses. —Karen
Firebird! Symbols of happiness and luck in Russian mythology. —@katiarichard_
Amphibians of all kinds are completely magical to me (metamorphosis! living on land and in water!), but toads have a special place in my heart. They are the perfect mixture of mundane and magical, sensitive and hardy, domestic and wild. They delight me at every turn. —Juli Anna J Herndon
Hippocampus is definitely my favorite, not just for being the perfect companion for a mermaid but they also are the exact expression of beauty and elegance.
I love many magical beasts, but my true favorite is the tiger. It has a majestic combination of raw power, stealth, elegance, and beauty but is also able to display playful cuteness and affection. And tigers are fire-themed, with their golden-orange coats and smoke-black stripes, which is always a plus. —Francisco Vargas
My absolute favorite mythical beast is the griffin, though I also adore the thunderbird from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
Ravens. They talk to each other, hold wakes for their dead, and know how to find magical objects in the mundane. (Everyday objects become tools and more.) —@magicklamp
I have an affinity for the jackalope: half jackrabbit, with antelope antlers. They’re said to roam the plains of the U.S. I love antelope and deer, elk, anything with antlers, and bunnies are my everything animal. They’re realm walkers, bouncing from the fairy realm to the human realm. I love them so. —Rhiannon Rose Willowfae
Gliding around under the moon and stars with outstretched wings and bright eyes—owls are definitely at the top of my favorite magical beast list. —Baily Bianchi
For as long as I can remember I have loved dragons. Growing up I was always seeing them flying in cloud formations and hoping they could fly me to school so I didn’t have to take the bus. —Venita Evens