Tag Archives: water horse

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…