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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

This post  temporary test post.



Saturday, April 6, 2019

Know Your Mythology? … Yeah? Think Deeper.


While researching the origins of the children film Mee-Shee The Water Giant (2005)for the obvious reason of its similarity to the film The Water Giant: Legend Of The Deep (2007), I discovered that both films are inspired adaptations of children book writer Dick King-Smith, who also wrote the highly popular story Babe: The Gallant Pig and of course The Water Giant (first published in1990).

However, the first of these films to hit the silver screen was Magic in the Water in 1995, which was then followed by the 1996 film Loch Ness. It is important to note that the writer Barry Authors, who wrote Mee-Shee, and writers Ninian Dunnett, Rick Stevenson, and Icel Dobell Massey who jointly penned the Magic in the Water, and later writer John Fusco of Loch Ness could have found some inspiration in  Dick King-Smith’s story of The Water Giant.

Could have ….


While all of these wonderful films and the children book make great family entertainment, the true legend of the Water Horse is a much more sinister and dark one, as well as numerous depending on its location. In fact, the origins of the Water Horse can be dated back to ancient, Welsh, Irish, and British folklore.




In the Irish and British folklores, the water horse is known as the Kelpie, a supernatural shape-shifting creature that has an insatiable desire for the flesh of the unfortunate human being that wanders into its trap.  These creatures were known to mostly hang out in the rivers and streams of Scotland, and often took the shape of an exceptionally beautiful tame horse, either mare or stallion depending on the sex of its prey and once caught by the Kelpie they were dragged deep into the sea and devoured. 

This is clearly a cautionary tale that probably had a two-fold nature. One, to prevent small children from venturing into deep water and drowning; and two, an even more devious purpose, to explain away the disappearance of an enemy or an unfaithful spouse.  



The bright side of the Kelpie legend is that with most tales of evil creatures, it has a weakness that could save its prey, but not always. The Kelpie hatred of metal object stemmed from its knowledge that metal in any form could harm it. Hereby, allowing many of its prey to escape.  Whether the metal could actually kill the Kelpie is unknown, but any chance at freedom is better than none.

The tales of the Kelpie is an interesting one and it is worth further study. While there are no known films on this side of the Atlantic, the legend is living well in the British Isles.

Ah, but the legend of the water horse does not stop here. In Wales, there is the Welsh folklore of the Ceffyl-Dwr. Like the Kelpie, the Ceffyl-Dwr is a shape-shifter. It is a water fairy that often takes the shape of a horse. It lives in mountain pools and waterfalls, and although it can appear solid, it can, if the need arise, evaporate into the mist.

A couple of interesting facts about the Ceffyl-Dwr is:  One, when unsuspecting travelers come into its path, the Ceffyl-Dwr will leap up out of the water and trample the travelers to death. Two, part of the legend is that it can shape wings for itself and snatch up unwelcome travelers who are unfortunate to come into its domain and carry them high into the sky, and then drop them to their death. 


In contrast, while the Kelpie relishes eating its prey; the Ceffyl-Dwr appears to only despise the presence of unwelcome visitors into its home.

Interesting legends, right?  

 

However, around the world, there are probably many legends based on supernatural water creatures. The most famous one known in modern times is Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster that has its origins going back to 1871, and with possible origins in the legends of the Ceffyl-Dwr and Kelpie.  The legend of the Loch Ness monster spurred many investigations into Nessie existence with a beginning date of 1933. The story of Nessie, which is now thought to be one of the world greatest hoaxes, sparked the creations of many books, films, and tours of the Loch Ness in Scotland.


Below are links to video stories about the Ceffyl-Dwr and the Kelpie. In addition, there is a link to Mythoscope, which is an interesting and funny introduction to myths around the world.

Mythoscope

 

P.S: While thinking of greatest hoaxes, I thought of the American actor Orson wells 1940 radio portrayal of H. G Wells novel War of the Worlds as coming in as number one as the world’s greatest hoax. Although not based on legend or folklore, Well’s War of the World stands up as it played strongly on the nation fear of the unknown and of outer space.

Not only this, but it is a well-known fact that most comic books have origins rooted in mythology. Take the characters within the dc comics and marvel comics universes. No need to name them, because their comics, films, cartoons, and games are with us every day.