Monday, August 27, 2012

Urisk—Scottish Solitary Faerie

By Dawn Marie Hamilton

Many a man or woman has sought release from their woes by visiting wild places within the woodland. Seeking ease, they're attracted to secluded pools. Places supportive of contemplation. Since we are of the Celtic bent here at Celtic Hearts, we know that in the dark forests of Scotland, more likely than not, they chance meeting a creature so peculiar they'll scurry back to civilization, their heart in their throat.

'Tis sad. The urisk, a humble creature by nature, is lonely and wants to make friends. Most humans shun the poor fellow because of his uncomely appearance, found by many to be horrifying and frightening.

Still, he holds hope someday someone will come along and befriend him.

"What does he look like?" you ask.

The gangling urisk appears an aging bald creature with pointed ears. His face is long and drawn. He peers at you through soulful rounded eyes. He sports a wiry goatee on his chin. His emaciated, hairless torso is somewhat human-like—his lower half goat-like with shaggy fur. His limbs are long and thin and he walks on cloven feet.

Many confuse the urisk (ùruisg) with the brownie (brùnaidh), though I believe they are each a distinct variety of Scottish solitary faerie. And look nothing alike.

A wonderfully dark depiction of the urisk can be found in the illustrated book, Faeries, by Brian Froud and Alan Lee.

Would you be frightened if you met an urisk in the woods? Or would you make friends with him?


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I'd make friends. I mean, wouldn't you rather have him as a friend than an advisory?

Love hearing about all of these creatures. Thanks, Dawn.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Paisley. Very true. Friend is better than foe. Thanks for dropping in.

Pat McDermott said...

No question, I'd try to make friends, if he'd agree. You do find the most intriguing creatures, Dawn! Nicely done.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Pat. I just love all the fantasy creatures found in the folklore of Scotland. Thanks for stopping by.

Teresa Cypher said...

Interesting post. I'd never before heard of this mythical creature. Well, would I run away--or stay and make friends? I'd be curious. I'd probably try to find a good place to hide while I observe for risks. Can he talk?? lol, because if he talked to me--we're definitively down for friendship. Imagine the bragging rights! ;-)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I believe he can speak, Teresa. You're certainly right about the bragging rights. Thanks for popping in for a visit!

フェイシ・Faithy 〜✨ said...

Just within the past 5 minutes, I have watched a short video about celtic legends that included the description of the Urick~ Thank you for writing on him, proving something very important to me!

Strange enough, I truly believe I came across an Urick in a dream I had several years ago, mistaking him for a satyr or Faun. The way I dreamed must have been so colorful because I was in a fantastical mood. I had at that time watched Pan's Labyrinth... Yet, this figure was not at all like pan but looked closely like him. His most prominent feature was that he seemed very homely. I felt sad for him.

My dream went like this.

An old pocket watch laid in front, dropped by someone. I left it, but thought that I should take it.

As most dreams do, I transitioned from one place to another by a portal/door.
This place of transition was made (silly as it seems to me) an very short escalator. When I reached the bottom, an old door appeared and I cautiously opened it. This passage lead me to a cozy, multi-sectioned home. The old roots of a tree were its beams and room partitions. The figure did not see me but I surely saw him first. My head was not yet though the door as I took a good look at him. He was walking about with flat wooden box in his hands. The most mysterious part of his figure was his antler-horns. Not associated with any popular legendary creature.

His wrinkled torso and head was hairless but his skinny legs were as hairy as a goats. he had a solemn look to his face, eyes wide but I don't remember their color. I think they were blue, but I cannot say for sure.

He set the box down and turned toward his porch, figuring I was but a couple roots inside of his strange home. The figure went outside his house to a pond beside it, the waters reflecting to the dirt roof inside of the house, illuminating it within.
I was curious to know what was inside the box.

[between this and the next scene of importance, I went back though the door and up the short escalator to bring a friend of mine with me, though she did not go back down with me.]

I came back for the box, opened it to see the most colorful, beautiful collection of rocks, not crystals.
One particular rock captured my eye, possibly I saw it before the figure set his box down.

The rock was a fire red with cracks covering it, revealing a deep hue of purple within the rock. I held it in my hands.

Then he came back. Before I turned back from where I retired. I saw his face, saddened. I was frightened he would punish me so I left quickly and never stopped running until I was a couple of blocks away from the place of transition. I took the rock with me.

Now, I sort of felt sad I took it, but it was a dream.
I tried to find the name of this creature, not saytr or faun, but now I know!!

I'd love to see the Urick again in a dream, hopefully return his rock to him and have a nice conversation.

thank you for reading~

His appearance in my dream has influenced a homely character in a story I'm writing. He would be depicted younger, but no less lanky. xD

Would my main character steal a rock from him too as I have or would she create a friendship? I have not reached the details on that part of my story yet...