The pooka is a creature from Irish folklore. While they take other forms, they are often said to take the form of a large black horse with glowing eyes. They are a highly feared creature which roams about the farmlands at night destroying property and scaring livestock. In addition, they are said to take people for wild rides which last for the entire duration of a terrifying night.
In addition to appearing as a horse, pookas are also said to take the guise of hideous goblins who demand a share of the year’s crop. If they are not left a portion, they are said to wreak all sorts of havoc. To this day, there are farmers in Ireland who leave behind some of their harvest as the pooka’s share.
These members of the fairy kingdom are said to be able to assume any shape that they wish. They have also been rumored to take the form of a human or to speak with a human voice in order to play frightful pranks on their victims. It is said that if a pooka calls you out at night and you ignore them, that they will damage your property as revenge.
The malevolent nature of the pooka is the reason for the high levels of fear associated with them. In the middle ages, many people associated the pooka with the devil. People still report sightings of these vindictive creatures. There are all sorts of stories of unusual creatures from around the world, with no actual evidence of their existence. While they just might be only the stuff of legend, learning about the pooka will keep me indoors if I am ever beckoned outdoors on a dark night in the Irish countryside.
To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!