Folklore Friday - The Boobrie
Commonly seen in large water bird form, this mysterious shapeshifting creature inhabits the lochs of west coast Scotland. The Boobrie is generally assumed to be a hostile, spiteful creature, who typically preys on livestock being transported by boat. It is also known to be fond of otters, of which it consumes considerable amounts while waiting for passing ships.
This magical creature can change to a multitude of forms and is able to gallop across the waters of the lochs, as if on solid ground. Those for miles around will know of it's presence due to it's terrifying bull-like bellowing and those who have been lucky enough to see the Boobrie claim, when in bird form, it is as large as seventeen of the largest eagles put together. With a neck of over three feet in length, and a girth of just under two, the Boobrie is a force to be reckoned with.
The creature sports short, black, powerful legs which lead to webbed feet with gigantic claws. The imprint of the Boobrie's footprint on the lochside mud measured equal to the span of a large, wide-spreading pair of deer's horns.
Local farmers lived in fear of the Boobrie, as the threat to their livestock meant a threat on their income and food.
Stories of The Boobrie...
Once, a farmer and his son were ploughing a field on the Isle of Mull. They were using a team of horses, however their work was stunted when one of the horses lost a shoe and could not continue. In spotting a nearby horse, the farmer and his son decided to use it as a replacement. Once harnessed to the plough the horse appeared familiar with the task at hand. As they ploughed near Loch Freisa the horse began to become restless. Gently whipping the horse to encourage it to continue, the farmer became terrified when the horse began to change form. Turning into a giant Boogrie, it bellowed in his face and dove into the loch, taking the plough and other horses with it. Frightened and shocked, the farmer and his son watched as the Boobrie swam to the center of the loch before diving under the water. For seven hours they waited, for any sign of their horses, however they were never seen again.
Once, a hunter made an attempt to shoot a Boobrie. He had spotted the creature, in bird-like form, on a sea loch, one chilly afternoon in February. Paddling into the loch, the hunter came within 85 yards of the creature, before it dove underwater and away from sight. Up to his shoulders in loch water, he maintained his position for fourty-five minutes before giving up and returing to the shore. Waiting a further six hours, he was sure the Boobrie would resurface so he may get a shot at it, however it never did.