The chimera was a mythological hybrid creature, a herd of which would have been frightened by the knock-down, drag-out fight between Cardinal Schotto and others in attendance at the election of Pope Sporus VI (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 54).
Marta Krebsmeyer says the clouds over Porcupine Bay twist and contort into strange shapes, some she thought looked like this mythological beast (The Tower at the End of the World, 92).
The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature composed of the parts of more than one animal. It is usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that might end with a snake's head. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything composed of very disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible, or dazzling. The seeing of a Chimera was an omen for disaster.