The dahu (sometimes spelled dahut) is an imaginary wild animal living in mountainous areas, an environment that has influenced its physical evolution over generations. Its characteristic aspect lies in the fact that it has two side legs shorter than the other two, in order to stand well in the mountainous slopes. The dahu is also known by different names depending on the region and sometimes takes on the appearance of a bird. The existence of the dahu is generally mentioned in rural areas and as a joke to particularly naive people and city dwellers unfamiliar, for example, with mountain fauna (as in the Pyrenees or the Alps), or simply forest fauna, as in Burgundy. In fact, almost everywhere in France, Switzerland and the Aosta Valley, variable accounts, of oral tradition, provide a description of what relates to this animal and to the “initiation” ritual of its hunt, as transmitted in some communities. This animal would have as main characteristic the fact that two of its four legs would be shorter than the others: the difference would be observed not between the front legs and the hind legs (as in the kangaroo, the squirrel or the hare), but between those on the left and those on the right.
The explanation for this difference in length would be that the animal would only live on slopes.