What, you never heard about the creature from Bavaria? It has only two short front legs - or maybe not. Maybe it does not have any legs. Or maybe they are arms and not legs after all? Some say it looks like a lizard, brown in color. Or black? Others settle on greenish gray. Hm! No, not like a lizard, more like a dragon! A snake with two tiny feet? Does it have a cat like head? It has clawed feet! Sure! No hair on it, just naked! Really? It stinks! Is it true, its odor is poisonous? It is two feet long - or three, or much more? It has been spotted in Switzerland and the Austrian Alps too. Any way, it lives in the higher mountain regions, in caves and tunnels, which it digs into the rock.
It has sharp claws! Is it an amphibian or a reptile? Or something in between? Don't be fooled by its shy appearance - if you approach it, it will attack you!!! It can leap a great distance! It has not been seen for a long time! Is it extinct? Or just fed up with human beings and hiding from us? Is its alleged existence due to confusion and imagination? I found it also described as a member of the family of lizards, with a plump torso, broad head, blunt tail and short legs, with its skin covered with rough, wart-like scales and a mouth, bright red inside, equipped with sharp teeth and a forked tongue, with sharp eyes and an angry combative attitude.
Legend has it, that when this fabled dragon of the mountains crawls through sand, the sand will become glass, because the Tatzel emits so much heat.
Maybe one day this mystery of a lizard, a worm, a dragon, will be solved, until then we remain with the stories and fantasies that revolve around that creature. By the way a "Tatze" is German and translates into a paw.
My dear friend Eva-Maria from Germany had her own interpretation of the Tatzelworm. She made several funny drawings about it. I got one from her as a present and printed it on fabric. Now a new bag is decorated with it - a pretty practical and elegant tote style bag.
Velvet fabric from that pack of upholstery swatches I got from my daughter. Tatzel printed on muslin with Bubble Jet and made into a pocket on the front. The strips are couched with black chenille yarn. The black cotton lining features two big pockets with the same Tatzel print on them. Leather handles with brass features.
Have a look at Eva's beautiful and joyful Tatzel drawings: