The Boldest Savages Dare Not Long Rest their Eyes
The Piasa Bird is a modern reconstruction of an American Indian mural of two dragons painted on a limestone cliff face near the juncture of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. In 1673, French explorer Father Jacques Marquette described them:
“We saw upon one of them two painted monsters which at first made Us afraid, and upon Which the boldest savages dare not Long rest their eyes. They are as large As a calf; they have Horns on their heads Like those of a deer, a horrible look, red eyes, a beard Like a tiger’s, a face somewhat like a man’s, a body Covered with scales, and so Long A tail that it winds all around the Body, passing above the head and going back between the legs, ending in a Fish’s tail. Green, red, and black are the three Colors composing the Picture.”
The reconstructed mural can be found near a large cave along the Great River Road (McAdams Parkway), north of Alton, Illinois.