The dahu is an imaginary creature in the folklore of the Alps mountains in France, Switzerland and the north of Italy.
Regional variations on its name include dahut or dairi in Jura, darou in Vosges or darhut in Burgundy; also called a tamarou in Aubrac and Aveyron). The dahu cub is called a dahuot.
In French lore, the dahu has the appearance of a deer or ibex, but with the principal characteristic that its legs on one side of its body are shorter than on the other side. This enables it to walk upright on the steep slopes of its mountain environment. It can only walk around the mountain in one direction. Legend attributes various differing descriptions to the animal, including the laevogyrous dahu (which has shorter legs on the left side, and thus goes around the mountain counter-clockwise) and the dextrogyre dahu (which has shorter legs on the right side, and thus goes around the mountain clockwise). These seldom interbreed, according to French lore.
Catching a dahu
The hunt for the dahu is a popular prank with tourists coming to ski.
French pranksters state that catching a dahu involves having one person at the bottom of the mountain slope and one person who is good at making dahu sounds so as to gain the attention of the dahu so that it will turn around. When it does so, it loses its balance and rolls down the hill to the person with the bag at the bottom of the hill.
Another method is to have pepper ground onto a large stone; when the dahu, while grazing, comes and sniffs the pepper, it would sneeze and knock itself out against the stone.