Anyone who thinks cryptozoology is the study of the impossible has never really taken a very good look at the so-called "natural world." Once you get past the megamouth sharks, naked mole rats, and spotted hyenas, then the basilisks, dragons, and cuckoos just don't seem that unreasonable. Unpleasant, yes, but unreasonable? Not really.
Frequent not the company of immodest persons, especially if they be also impudent, as is generally the case; ...these corrupted souls and infected hearts scarcely speak to any, either of the same or a different sex, without causing them to fall in some degree from purity; they have poison in their eyes and in their breath, like basilisks. On the contrary, keep company with the chaste and virtuous; often meditate upon and read holy things; for the word of God is chaste, and makes those also chaste that delight in it.
Saint Francis de Sales
It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog's, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
But what's left on earth that I haven't tried?" Prince Ler demanded. "I have swum four rivers, each in full flood and none less than a mile wide. I have climbed seven mountains never before climbed, slept three nights in the Marsh of the Hanged Men, and walked alive out of that forest where the flowers burn your eyes and the nightingales sing poison. I have ended my betrothal to the princess I had agreed to marry - and if you don't think that was a heroic deed, you don't know her mother. I have vanquished exactly fifteen black knights waiting by fifteen fords in their black pavilions, challenging all who come to cross. And I've long since lost count of the witches in the thorny woods, the giants, the demons disguised as damsels; the glass hills, fatal riddles, and terrible tasks; the magic apples, rings, lamps, potions, swords, cloaks, boots, neckties, and nightcaps. Not to mention the winged horses, the basilisks and sea serpents, and all the rest of the livestock." He raised his head, and the dark blue eyes were confused and sad. "And all for nothing, " he said. "I cannot touch her, whatever I do. For her sake, I have become a hero - I, sleepy Ler, my father's sport and shame - but I might as well have remained the dull fool I was. My great deeds mean nothing to her.
Peter S. Beagle