Kelpie by Veronica S

“In traditional Irish and Scottish folklore, the Kelpie is a malevolent trickster shapeshifter, almost always male, who appears as a horse and lures young women to the water where he drowns them and devours their remains, except their heart. Villagers feared him, and were always mistrustful of stray horses they found near water. It is said that the Kelpie is as gentle a stallion as you could ever find until touched, whereupon he became enraged, his skin became sticky and he dragged his victim to the water and drowned them.

I never understood the motivation behind the traditional view of the Kelpie, so I reinterpreted it. In my interpretation of this legend, the Kelpie is female, and the only one of her kind. She lives a lonely, despairing life in the deepest parts of rivers. She lures young men to the water in an attempt to find love, but they always drown, and she consumes them to try to make them a part of herself and ease her loneliness. She finds she can never claim their heart. She longs for the time when the young man she chooses will not drown and she will no longer be a malevolent beast.”

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.