Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [at Iowa State]

by Savannah Putnam

To make up for never receiving my Hogwarts letter, sometimes I pretend that Iowa State is Hogwarts. We have a lake, there are over four miles of secret passages under our school (utility tunnels), our school colors are Gryffindor’s colors, there are several staircases that lead to nowhere (notably, a mysterious one in Sweeney Hall that goes up the fourth floor – there is no fourth floor), and we even have an official quidditch team. To further support my assessment, I have compiled a list of the magical creatures that roam the campus:

1. Crows: These are the most dangerous beasts. If you walk under the wrong tree at the wrong time, they will poop bomb you like there’s no tomorrow. The crows know how to lure their prey into a sense of security by masking their poop as the sound of peaceful rain. Be warned.

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2. Horses: North of campus there are beautiful horses and foals in the horse barns. They are by far the friendliest of creatures at Iowa State, and last year every day after class I would walk past them and give them a pat on the head. They also are especially fond of apples.

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3. The elusive “albino” squirrel: While not technically albino (a real albino squirrel would have pink eyes), this squirrel certainly looks it. I suspect it is a result of an incomplete transfiguration spell.

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4. Birds of paradise: Last year, to the surprise of all of Iowa State, there were 10 Guinea Fowl spotted wandering around campus. Believed to be a prank played by Fred and George, these poor birds originate in Africa and were wandering around squawking in the cold. The mystery of the beautiful birds was never solved – another Hogwarts secret.

5. Chicken nugget fish: One time I was working in Chester’s Chicken and found a chicken nugget that looked like a fish. Magical.

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6. Swans: The most famous of creatures, these two swans are unquestionably using the sorcerer’s stone to achieve their old age. They were originally introduced to Lake LaVerne in 1935, and have lived there ever since.

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While we doesn’t have thestrals, basilisks, grindylows, and owls flying around everywhere, I believe that the magical creatures I have shown you should be sufficient evidence to prove that despite its outwardly Muggle-school façade, Iowa State is indeed a wizarding school.


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