Tag Archives: mythological beasts

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: The Fear of a Farmer

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: Robert Lambert Jones III).

Here is my recap of the creatures I used in my story poem, The Fear of a Farmer: Valkyrie, Norns, Water Horse, Selkie, sea serpent, and Cherubim. As I did for The Staff in the Tree, I have chosen to show certain illustrations with some accompanying verses. I’m a bit more pleased with the visual quality in this particular book. And now…

“So know, as you tremble with eyes open wide,                                                                          I’ve come to commission the hero inside.”

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From out of the darkness, a trio of Norns                                                                                Gave such admonition as righteousness scorns.

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Norns from The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: Robert Lambert Jones III).

Its profile was equine but horribly so,                                                                             Distorted, and much like a fish did it go.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

He turned to discover a striking surprise,                                                                                      A womanly creature with ebony eyes.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“I said I would love and return to the deep.                                                                                   A promise I make is a promise I keep.”

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

Respectfully, Einar stood up in the stern.                                                                                      The guardian lowered its head in return.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“What’s this,” chuckled Asger, “that falls on my ear?                                                                  You give him the wrong appellation, I fear.”

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

Their power was awesome, as often was proved                                                                        By flashes of lightning whenever they moved.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“Be careful,” said Anni. “Arise, but don’t speak.”                                                                         She stood and positioned her hand on its beak.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

The Fear of a Farmer has just been made available on Amazon. You may find out more about it by clicking HERE.

Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Water Horse

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From The Fear of a Farmer (copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

Let us turn now to Celtic mythology (more specifically, Scottish legend) for another mythological creature: the Water Horse. Sometimes considered synonymous with a Kelpie,  sometmes considered distinct from it, this entity appears to be part creature and part aquatic spirit.

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The Kelpie (1895) by Thomas Millie Dow.

It is a changeling (shape shifter) that appears in various versions as a woman, a man, a horse, or combinations of these. Whichever version you run across, it is usually a very deceptive and dangerous thing to encounter. In at least one Scottish legend, it lures people into mounting it for a ride, whereupon they become fastened to its back and unable to get off. It then plunges into the water and drowns them. In other accounts, it kills by devouring or crushing its victims. Regardless of the method used, it sometimes does this when it is in human form. This last possibility renders the following painting by Herbert James Draper particularly chilling.

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The Kelpie by Herbert James Draper

The artistic portrayals I have seen are in three main categories. It can be human (usually female) as seen above. Secondly, it may simply be shown as a horse or a horse in the water. The following picture apparently combines the first two approaches.

The Water Horses of Loch Ness (2011) by R. Watson.

Finally, it is sometimes depicted as a hybrid between a horse and a fish or eel of some kind. This is more typical of modern fantasy art. The rather gruesome example below is oddly accentuated by the presence of the heron.

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By Saltygottschalk.com.

I like the bold, clean lines of this next one. The style is more graphic.

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From camstockphoto.com.

I also like the following blend of Celtic and Greek mythology.

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Horses of Neptune by Walter Crane.

In the picture with which I began this post, I chose the hybrid approach. If you look closely, you can see that I adapted it from Ming Dynasty sculptures of horses. I substituted simple fins for the hair of the mane, chin, and tail. I also extended and pointed the ears. I will end with a profile of the head which I drew to enhance the visual character of this creature for my story.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

But wait! There will be another mythical creature next week…

 

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: Valkyries (cont.)

Oops! I lied. I was originally going to do something different. It’s been an uncommonly busy summer for my wife and for me, and school is about to start again for both of us (the school nurse and the college professor). What I’m trying to say is that I’m feeling lazy, so I’m going to try to get by with some additional pictures I drew of a Valkyrie for my story poem, The Fear of a Farmer. I’ve been writing ad nauseum that it’s copyrighted but not yet published. Due to the many illustrations, it is taking me a long time to get it formatted.

I wrote last week, that portraying Valkyries requires some tricks with picture composition in order to make them more evocative. I obviously chose adding wings, but most artists don’t do this. In addition, I wanted to develop the visual character of Anni, the Valkyrie, by doing a portrait and playing with her facial expressions. In this picture, she is giving the farmer the instructions he must follow to save his village from an oncoming invasion.

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The following illustration shows her pondering the fate of the farmer. I added an inquisitive sea gull to accentuate the mood.

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Finally, I tried a different action pose because, well, it just sort of blew into my mind and wouldn’t leave. In this rendering, she is reaching into the ocean to save the farmer from drowning.

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Well, that’s it. I told you I was feeling lazy. Next week, I’ll take on another entity.

Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Griffin

Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread But never moved its gaze from Galen's face it must be said. The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown, And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down. From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III
Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread
But never moved its gaze from Galen’s face it must be said.
The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown,
And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down.
From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

My brother-in-law, James P. Wood, made the above illustration to go with a scene from my first story poem, The Kraken, in which the main character has an encounter with the Griffin King. I obviously borrowed this creature from existing mythology and medieval heraldry, and it appears in historical and current coats of arms, two examples of which are shown below.

Crimean Coat of Arms
Crimean Coat of Arms

 

Flag: Utti Jaeger Regiment, Finnish Army
Flag: Utti Jaeger Regiment, Finnish Army

The Griffin (or Gryphon) has the head, wings, and legs of an eagle at its front and the body, hind legs and tail of a lion. It is similar to the Hippogriff, which is the offspring of a Griffin and a mare (see the appropriately titled earlier post in this series for more on the Hippogriff). In heraldry, the Griffin represents courage, boldness, and skill in battle. It was sometimes given significance in Christian symbolism.

Perhaps my favorite rendition of a Griffin is this one made by John Tenniel for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I like the way the artist places it in the pose of a sleeping dog.

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Of course, I must offer the requisite version by William O’ Connor from Dracopedia: The Bestiary.

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I will leave you with one more illustration by James P. Wood from The Kraken.

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed. From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III
Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed
In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.
From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III

The Kraken can be ordered on Amazon by clicking here.

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: The Staff in the Tree

While the topic of mythological beasts and spirits is of genuine interest to me, I think it is obvious by now that I have been using it to shill (shamelessly, I might add) my own poem, The Staff in the Tree. The poem is now available on Amazon. This week’s post is a summary of those creatures from this series which appear in my story. It is primarily pictorial (ouch – alliteration) and is accompanied by some written excerpts.

Padded paws and feathered wingspan, lion's mane, and all of white, Softly silent, pale and ghostly, stalked the Shedu in the night. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Padded paws and feathered wingspan, lion’s mane, and all of white,
Softly silent, pale and ghostly, stalked the Shedu in the night.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

In the sky, they flew and galloped while cavorting overhead, Carried on each horse's body eagle's wings and eagle's head. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
In the sky, they flew and galloped while cavorting overhead,
Carried on each horse’s body eagle’s wings and eagle’s head.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

Said the wily, flitting Enfield, auburn fox with wings of gray, "Have you seen the Spirit Father? What, exactly, did he say?" From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Said the wily, flitting Enfield, auburn fox with wings of gray,
“Have you seen the Spirit Father? What, exactly, did he say?”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

Leonid, with eagle's talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail, Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Leonid, with eagle’s talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail,
Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

"Best to stop," the Shedu cautioned. "Hidden by the hoot of owl, I perceive the furtive footsteps of the Freybug on the prowl." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Best to stop,” the Shedu cautioned. “Hidden by the hoot of owl,
I perceive the furtive footsteps of the Freybug on the prowl.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

"Why should you deny my challenge? Is it that I have no wings? Missing these, I still can best you. Come. See how my venom stings." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Why should you deny my challenge? Is it that I have no wings?
Missing these, I still can best you. Come. See how my venom stings.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

From its place of hibernation, from its lair beneath the lake, Rupturing the liquid membrane, to the surface burst the Drake. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
From its place of hibernation, from its lair beneath the lake,
Rupturing the liquid membrane, to the surface burst the Drake.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

With her arms, the Sprite embraced him, pressed her mouth on willing lips, Then drew back and laughed with pleasure, placed her hands upon her hips. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
With her arms, the Sprite embraced him, pressed her mouth on willing lips,
Then drew back and laughed with pleasure, placed her hands upon her hips.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

"You are in a place of danger. Walk in hope and righteous fear. Stay your course. Be not distracted. There are winsome spirits here." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“You are in a place of danger. Walk in hope and righteous fear.
Stay your course. Be not distracted. There are winsome spirits here.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

Dignified, the ancient giants, from their homes of bark and wood, Hearkened to the forest maiden, in the fog before her stood. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Dignified, the ancient giants, from their homes of bark and wood,
Hearkened to the forest maiden, in the fog before her stood.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

I apologize for the repetitious reference in each caption. To save time, I simply took from my media file some of the images I had included in previous posts. More details about the book can be obtained by clicking here.

Next week: another creature.