I was a Brownie when I was about seven. Brownies had nothing to do with chocolate back then, it was what you joined before going on to be a Girl Guide. The Brownie pack was divided into four groups. I was in the Kelpies!

As promised last week, a quick word about kelpies. A kelpie is a water spirit, in Scottish folklore, said to take the form of a horse and reputed to delight in drowning travellers. The name may derive from the Scottish Gaelic words ‘cailpeach’ or ‘colpach’, which mean heifer or colt.

A kelpie is also an Australian sheepdog but that has nothing to do with this blog.

Harry Potter fans are no strangers to kelpies, since they appear in the books. According to Hogwarts, the world’s biggest and most famous kelpie is the Loch Ness monster. The kelpie also gets a mention in an ode to the devil by the Scottish bard, Robert Burns:

…When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord

An’ float the jinglin’ icy boord

Then, water-kelpies haunt the foord

By your direction

And ‘nighted trav’llers are allur’d

To their destruction…’

The kelpies in the photo I placed last time are sculptures by artist Andy Scott.