The Ecology of the Moot

Selected excerpts from the Leprechaun Corp Field Guide to Mythological Animals.

Creature: The Moot

The 'moot' also known as the 'hunting cow' is a curious creature. Now days it is little known and believed to be extinct; however these creatures did exist at one time in the past. Indeed, these creatures were highly respected in certain circles of power, mainly for it's abilities to immediately ascertain whether or not an irrelevant topic had been brought up in a conversation.


The common moot resembles a cross between a cow and an owl. The creature is about the size of a large dog with a body and tail resembling that of a cow and the head and wings resembling an owl's. The moot is entirely covered with soft feathers which come in all different colors. The spotted moot was the most common of the species and generally had plummage of black with large white spots; it's cousin the spitted moot was generally white with large black spots (There was no other difference between the two sub-species). Entirely black or brown moots were not uncommon.


The moot had many well known abilities that made it ideal for tracking down irrelevancies. It's wing feathers, like the owls, allowed it to fly silently so that it could sneak up on it's prey. It's neck bones were so flexible, that it could turn it's head almost 330 degrees giving it a wide field of vision. The moot even had seven stomachs, allowing it to better digest any conversation, no matter how fraught with irrelevancies. It's most famed ability however was that once it sensed an irrelevancy being uttered, the moot would stiffen with it's beak towards the conversationalist (giving us the term "a moot point", brought in use after a particularly loyal and well trained moot saved a well known, but unnamed, diplomat's career). A subspecies of the moot, known as the bull-moot, has horns. Curiously, this species is nearly invisible, and unlike it's cousins does not point. Instead the bull-moot uses it's horns to goad the conversationalists. Usually within minutes, speakers goaded by a bull-moot will see red and continue arguing their respective irrelevant points, regardless of what was originally being discussed. Sadly, the bull-moot is alive and well.


As noted above, the moot is thought to be extinct (except the bull-moot). This is mainly due to two factors. The mating cry of the moot (from which it gets it's name) was not very attractive to members of either sex and was actually somewhat obnoxious to most humans. Usually it took less then an hour of some moot "moooooOOOT"ing before some human would throw anything that was both heavy and handy. Even then the moot might have survived (after all humans learned to put up with 'hey babe, what's your sign?') but for the second factor. As noted, the moot would point towards the closest irrelevant subject being brought up in a conversation. During the entire 20th century, so many irrelevant subjects were being brought up in a conversation, that the average moot was continually locked in a point, or worse, turning between so many conversations that it got air sick. After literally hours of irrelevant speeches, the poor things just threw up, gave up, and died.

And that's the truth.

Alan Nelson,
The Leprechaun Corp


This text is copyrighted by Brad Colver, 1997.