The reverse centaur illustration
Illustration by Janet Doan

The Reverse Centaur

By Janet Doan 

When Edna Kobayov spotted a movement in the grassy Siberan steppe, she thought it was merely a horse. “Never had I heard of such a majestic creature, and never shall I witness anything more beautiful,” she sighed wistfully, fumbling with her sketchbook. Kobayov and her dog Marco were exploring the Siberian wilderness on a soul-searching mission when she saw the golden steed running towards her. Head-on, it looked like a normal horse, but Kobayov noticed that it had an unusual gait. She whipped out her sketchbook. An equine head, forelegs, and torso. A man’s headless body attached to its rear end. “I would like to call it a reverse centaur,” she said. “Maybe the old myths weren’t entirely wrong. Maybe there was a grain of truth to the old tales, hidden in the Siberian steppe.” Kobayov tried to bring the reverse centaur back to her apartment in Moscow, but it would not fit inside of her Kia Soul.

The reverse centaur is an endangered species roaming in the grassy plains of northern Eurasia. Its diet consists of grass, carrots, and the occasional Cheeto puff. Considered less dangerous due to its weaker hind kick, it can still be a formidable opponent when wielding sharp objects in its hands. Their unwieldy hind legs slow the animals considerably and make galloping difficult. No one has been able to witness their mating behavior.