Whispering Woods Faery Lore Course
Both, domestic and wild animals have been associated with the faeries. And they are often seen as dogs and horses, though other creatures can also be included as faery animals. For instance, eagles, owls and wrens have all been associated with the faeries. There are also the Selkie and the Roan which are in effect, shape-shifting seals. As well as ants, bees, butterflies and so forth. The world of the faeries is very diverse and so are the animals that are associated with them. Following is but a partial list of these amazing creatures.
Barguest – The meaning of the word “Barguest” stems from the description “town ghost”. The Barguest seems to have been a name used relatively widely for a shape shifting creature, which could also appear in the shape of a bear, indeed the name Barguest may derive from the German for “bear ghost”. The Barguest could not cross through running water, and as a black dog it was often seen as a portent of death. In general it is a Black Dog faery animal of Northern England. It is said to have claws and horns, along with glowing red eyes. He is often seen and heard dragging clanking chains behind him. He is almost always an omen of death, if not an impending disaster. One Barguest is said to haunt the North Yorkshire gorge of Trollers Ghyll. They have also been sighted in other locales.
Cu Sith (Cu Sith literally means fairy dog) – In appearance this dog is green with long shaggy fur; it is roughly the size of large calf and is considered dangerous to encounter. This is the only example of a green dog although green is a favorite color of the fairies.
Black Shuck – for centuries, inhabitants of East Anglia have told tales of a large black malevolent flaming eyes that are red or on occasion, green. They are described as being as large as saucers. The Black Shuck is said to vary in size from that of a large dog to the size of a small horse. The legends of Black Shuck roaming the Anglican countryside date back to the time of the Vikings. The name is thought to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word “scucca” meaning “demon”. The legend may have been part of the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Black Shuck is generally an omen of death but folks have been known to have lived after an encounter with the Black Shuck. However if one is to look him in the eyes they will surely perish. At times Black Shuck has appeared headless, and at other times he appears to have one eye. According to folklore, this faery dog often haunts graveyards, back roads, crossroads and dark forests.
Blanchard – This is the faery horse of the knight known as Lanval. It was given to him by the faery Tryamour. Lanval was a knight at King Arthur’s court. Tryamour was the faery mistress of Lanval.
Kelpie – The kelpie is a shape-shifting water horse that is said to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland. It generally has grayish black fur, and will appear as a lost pony, but can be identified by its constantly dripping mane which usually looks like seaweed. Its skin is like that of a seal but is deathly cold to the touch. The kelpie tries to lure folks onto its back and then dive into a deep lake to drown its hapless rider. The kelpie has been known to eat the remains of its victims.
Bolla – In ancient Albanian folklore, the Bolla (also known as Bullar in South Albania) is a type of faery animal, dragon with a long, coiled, serpentine body, four legs and small wings. It is said to sleep all year long only to awaken on St. George’s Day (April 23rd). After a period of twelve years it transforms from a dragon into a hag called a Kulshedra. The Kulshedra is often depicted as having pendulous breasts and a very hairy body. The Kulshedra are said to cause droughts and to require human sacrifices to continue living.
Cabbyl Ushty – This is a Manx water horse that resembles a real horse. Except that its hooves are turned backwards. It has been said that it tries to entice humans to ride on its back. Once this occurs the Cabbyl Ushty swims out to sea in an effort to drown its human rider.
Boobrie – The Boobrie is a large faery bird found in Scotland. It is said to be a water bird with white feathers, though some accounts have it as having black feathers. Its bill is said to be three feet long and that it will stalk ships carrying livestock. It imitates the sounds of the livestock in an attempt to draw them overboard to a drowning death. The Boobrie then proceeds to feed on the drowned carcasses.
Cait Sith (Faery Cat) – This is a Black faery cat that roams the Scottish Highlands. It is said to have a white spot on its chest. There are those who believe that it is a witch that has shape-shifted.
Dinny Mara (Dooinney Marrey – Men of the Sea) the Dinny Mara are the Mermen (water horses) of the Manx. They are found around the Isle of Man. They can be benevolent to fishermen, but whistling on board may irate them, resulting in the Dinny Mara raising up a windy storm.
Pigs – According to Welsh folklore, pigs originally came from Faeryland. And the first pigs seen by humans were from a gift to Pryderi from the King of the Underworld.
Glas Ghaibhneach (The Grey cow with the White loins) – This is a Dun colored Faery cow or sea cow. They are said to inhabit the fresh and saltwater areas of West coast of Scotland. The Crodh Mara had many beneficial aspects and was even known to protect people from the dangers of the water horse.
Fuwch Gyfeiliorn – This was a faery cow that belonged to a band of faeries whom inhabited Llyn Barfog, a lake situated near Aberdovey near Wales. It is said that at dusk these particular faeries appear with all clad in green. Along with the faeries appear milk white, hounds and cows. One day a local farmer was said to have captured one of these milk white cows and upon taking it home, he prospered quite well. Years afterwards, the farmer figured that it was time to put the faery cow down due to its age. But when the farmer struck it a blow, it rose back up and disappeared back into the lake, to be seen no more.
Dog of Bouley (Le Tchan de Boule) – This faery black dog is found only the Channel Island of Jersey. He is not known to have killed anyone but he has been known to terrify his victims to the point of shock. He would drag a chain that made a noise so horrifying that it stopped its human victim in their tracks. It is said that he has eyes as big as saucers and long sharp teeth.
Ychen Bannog – These were two mystical long horned oxen or faery cows. They were used to haul the “Afranc” from its lair in the River Conway which is near Betwys y Coed in Wales. During this task one of the faery cows lost its eye. When the eye fell to the ground, it became a pool known as “Pwll Llygad Ych” (Pool of the oxen eye).
Selkies – These are the faeries of the Shetland and Orkney islands who take on the shape of seals. When they come upon land, they shed their seal skin and emerge in beautiful human woman form. It is said that if one can find the Selkies skin while they are on land that you can enforce the Selkie to stay as a mate. But should they find their seal skins, they will return to the seas. The Mac Codrum clan who hail from North Uist in the Hebrides claims to be descended from a union of a man and a selkie. They are called (sliochd nan Ron) “offspring of seals”.
1. Blanchard is the faery horse of the knight known as ________.
2. Cabbyl Ushty is a Manx __________.
3. The Black Shuck is found in _____ _____.
4. The Dinny Mara are found around the ____ __ ____.
5. Cu Sith literally means _______ ____.
6. The first pigs were a gift to ______.
7. ________ wears the skins of seals.