“The Aralezs are a kind of mythical creature from Armenia. To put it simply, they are essentially like a cross between a dog or a wolf and an eagle, so basically a dog with wings. Legend has it that they live on Mount Ararat, which is pretty much the most sacred landmark to Armenians. They used to be worshipped along with a lot of the pagan gods and goddesses before Armenia was Christianized and stuff. I guess the most notable thing about them is that they come down from the mountain in times of war to lick and heal the wounds of Armenian people. I’ve also heard of some people entombing their dead relatives in towers so that the Aralezs could come down and revive them.”

This is from my roommate who was born in Yerevan, Armenia, but he and his family moved to the U.S. in the late 1990s, before he was even five years old. However, he has spent most of his summers back in Armenia, visiting family and whatnot. He is fluent in Armenian and speaks it at home. He’s never really believed in the Aralezs, but he learned about it from his grandpa who would always tell him stories, with some involving Armenian mythology.