NARRATOR (Clive Russell): At first glance, you might only see hunters spearing a beast. If you look closer, though, you’ll see what looks like a megaphone coming out of the creature’s backside. This is the bonnacon’s secret weapon. You might want to hold your nose as we go over the particulars…
If you missed the bonnacon listening station we’ve repeated the story here.
Bonnacons are both fun and disgusting—everything you’d ever want in a fantastical creature.
The need-we-say mythical bonnacon is a bull-like beast with the mane of a horse and horns that spiral inward on top of its head. These inward-curved horns are not effective in defending the creature against hunters. But what the Bonnacon doesn’t have going for it in the front, it certainly has in the back. It can expel a fiery dung that burns anything it touches. It can discharge that robust excrement two to three acres out, depending on which medieval account you favor.
In the Middle Ages, no particular moral story was attached to the bonnacon. It lent itself to comedy, and artists seemed to have enjoyed depicting the moment of expulsion. If you look closely in illustrated representations of the beast, you’ll see humorous elements. Hunters’ facial expressions include eyes enlarged with surprise, and lips clenched in worry. Some manuscript illuminations even show reactions to the beast’s odor, with noses scrunched up or held closed. The bonnacon, on the other hand, often had a mischievous smirk as it shot out its fury.