One of the challenges the Winter Texan is faced with is that of sorting out legend, fantasy, and nonsense from reality.
That it is a different world in South Texas from the world we are accustomed to in the Midwest is evident. A day's drive across the semi-arid mesquite and cactus-ridden landscape is more than enough to convince one of the truth of this.
But consider some of the strange "inhabitants" of this land. Following the title, I first mention el chupacabra, and that may be first because he has recently been in the news. Whether or not a thirteen-year old boy actually killed a chupacabra will no doubt be debated into the pages of history until it becomes a part of the legend. El chupacabra: legend or reality?
I learned of palm rats the first year I spent in this area. My skeptical nature more or less demanded that I believe the purveyor of the tale was leading me pretty much on a "snipe hunt." Over the years, I have come to be aware that in some parts of the country there are rats that climb palm trees to raid the fruit thereof, and that some may jump onto roofs; hence we have "roof rats." But of the "palm rats" of which I was first told, those that live in the dead fronds near the top of palm trees and never go to ground, I ask: fact or fiction?
Road runners appear in my birders' manual, so I am quite sure that they exist. I have been told that they inhabit this area; but as to the question as to whether they really do or not, I say, Seeing is believing. One morning while taking an early perambulation around the park, a road runner ran out in front of me and fled down the street on which I was walking! He soon sped out of sight around a corner. I did not see Wile E. Coyote. But I'm pretty sure he or his near-kin are close by!