Rude Weapons

Pliny the Elder wrote of an alarming creature of ancient legend:

There are reports of a wild animal in Paeonia called the bonasus, which has the mane of a horse, but in all other respects resembles a bull; its horns are curved back in such a manner as to be of no use for fighting, and it is said that because of this it saves itself by running away, meanwhile emitting a trail of dung that sometimes covers a distance of as much as three furlongs, contact with which scorches pursuers like a sort of fire.

By the Middle Ages this had evolved into the bonnacon, and if anything had gotten worse — from the 12th-century Cambridge Bestiary:

However much his front end does not defend this monster, his belly end is fully sufficient. For when he turns to run away he emits a fart with the contents of his large intestine which covers three acres. And any tree that it reaches catches fire. Thus he drives away his pursuers with noxious excrement.

It seems vaguely to have lived in southern Asia. Let’s hope it stays there.