UPDATE 9/2/09: NEWS! CHUPACABRA CAUGHT!
Click HERE for the story (external link).
Urban legend or real creature lurking out there somewhere, ready to attack and maim little kids? The other day we brought you the phenomenon of the vampire cats. We now have, possibly, a vampire dog, or something that resembles one.
If you grew up as a wide-eyed kid in a Spanish-speaking household in the US or Latin America, you surely know what the Chupacabra is. This is what your parents told you to scare the bejeezus out of you. You don’t want to go to bed like I told you? Don’t want to eat your veggies? Look out, the Chupacabra is coming to get you in the middle of the night.
For those unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, surely you have heard of urban legends or myths out there. Like Bigfoot. Like the Loch Ness Monster. Societies feel the need to create these ideas as a diversion, as a way to provide constructs of fear. On a practical level, the fact that people choose to spread these beliefs does not suggest they actually trust them. It is in the very dispersion of these fears that someone –usually, a snotty-nosed kid who doesn’t know better—will get so scared that he will instantly change his behavior. We spin these tales, adding a little detail here and there, and they get passed on to future generations of trembling toddlers who misbehave or get out of control.
The Chupacabra, which literally translates as “goat sucker”, does not have the long history of Bigfoot or Loch Ness; it’s a thoroughly modern and Latin creation. First reports of its sightings –if, in fact, you believe it to be true—date back to 1990, and there have been reports of people seeing it in places such as Puerto Rico, Chile and the US Southwest.
There has been no real agreement as to what species the Chupacabra is.Farmers have taken pictures of unclassifiable dog-like creatures that attack livestock, but some of these have been found to be coyotes. Others believe the Chupacabra is a reptile-like being, about 4 feet tall with gray scaly skin. And it hops. You can clearly see how these legends can get spun a bit awry. A hopping reptile? A mangy coyote? What is it exactly and why can’t anyone provide real up-close proof that this thing really exists?
Well leave it to none other than the news authorities at CNN to provide this footage of what they call the Chupacabra. In it you can see this odd-looking coyote-like animal running. It certainly looks ferocious and probably scared and rabid. But I wonder if this isn’t just a canine running away from local news cameras? Or maybe it’s just a mad goat with big cahones.
According to CNN, whose “best election coverage” and incisive analysis of events in Georgia were surely enhanced by this bit of footage, we have a sheriff’s deputy named Brandon Reidel in the small town of Cuero (“leather” or skin), Texas. Oh of course. You wouldn’t find this kind of killer creature partying with the snobs in the Hamptons or the Berkshires back east, right. So Reidel and fellow officer Ellie Carter were out one day and, according to Carter: “We were checking fences when this thing jumped out at us. I shouted: ‘It’s a chupacabra!’ I recognized it instantly from TV. It had big teeth, a big head, short legs in the front and long legs in back.” The creature was promptly shot and other dead creatures were found near a farm.
I take it forensic people and scientists are studying its wretched remains while celebrity paparazzi are busy sifting through the corpse to post some pics on TMZ. Residents of Cuero, TX, population 6,571 are now busy printing out “I Saw the Chupacabra” t-shirts. This also is not the first time there was a Chupacabra scare. In 2007, a resident spotted something that was later determined to be a Mexican hairless dog. So is this a myth once again or the real deal? In a world where we have real evil to deal with, like the E! network, “Fox and Friends”, the Cheney White House staff or indiscriminate flattening of Georgian villages by surly Russkies, aren’t we a bit saturated right now by bloodsuckers anyways? Please let us know.