In this blog post I'll tell you all about the Scottish legend of the kelpie, a spirit water-horse.
The kelpie is a water spirit that can transform itself, usually appearing as a horse and sometimes as a human. They can be found near rivers and lochs (lakes) across Scotland, and are not usually friendly. If you get curious and decide you want to stroke the horse’s mane, you might find yourself wanting to mount it and go for a ride. But once you are on the horse's back you cannot get off, and the horse runs deep into the water, taking you forever from the land. So, if you ever travel to Scotland and find a wild horse standing alone by the water, I would leave it alone if I were you.
A kelpie will not only look for one victim though, it will take as many as it can get. You see, the demon horse can stretch its back to fit as many riders as it wants, usually finding children who all want to get on together, and then running off with them to its deep watery home.
A famous tale of a blacksmith and his family who were terrorised by a kelpie tells us of one way to defeat it. After endless nights of the horse coming to his home and causing trouble on his land, the blacksmith decided he would have to kill the monster to keep his family safe. He waited one night and built a strong fire. In the fire he placed two iron spears and left them until they were incredibly hot. When the kelpie arrived to cause trouble, the blacksmith stabbed the kelpie in both sides with the red-hot spears and it became nothing but water and foam.
The kelpie is also thought to be the origin of the Loch Ness Monster, one of the most famous Scottish myths. Just remember, beware lone strangers and horses along the banks of the Scottish lochs.
Have you heard about any similar legends?