Vouivre

Flying Dragon of France.

Etymology: Old French, "viper," from the Latin vipera.

Variant name: Givre, Guivre, Vouire, Wivre.

Physical description: Winged snake. Carries a shining diamond or ruby in its forehead. Shining, green scales.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Emits a musical sound when flying. Said to breathe fire or a toxic vapor. Guards treasure. Removes its head stone when bathing. Seeing a naked man causes it to be terrified.

Habitat: Caves and springs.

Distribution: Bourgogne, Alsace, and Franche-Comte regions, France; Canton Jura, Switzerland, especially near Courgenay.

Sources: Désiré Monnier, Essai sur l'origine de la Séquanie (Lons-le-Saunier, France: Gauthier Père et Fils, 1818-1819); René Alleau, Guide de la France mystérieuse (Paris: Claude Tchou, 1964), pp. CLIV—CLV; Felice Holman and Nanine Valen, The Drac: French Tales of Dragons and Demons (New York: Scribners' Sons, 1975); George Langelaan, Die unheimlichen Wirklichkeiten (Munich, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1975), p. 29; Francis Huxley, The Dragon (New York: Collier, 1979), p. 13; R. Michelin, "Le vouivre en Saône-et-Loire," in Henri Dontenville, ed., Mélanges de mythologie française (Paris: G.-P. Maisonneuve et Larose, 1980); Courgenay, http://www.juranet. ch/localites/communes/Ajoie/courgen.htm.

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