#3 Introducing the Celtic Noggle

A sneak peek at some of the denizens of fairyland you’ll meet in The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies…

#3 Noggle

(Also Nuggle or Nygel.)

A Celtic fairy water horse.

Illustration © Andy Paciorek
Illustration © Andy Paciorek

A Shetland kelpie, or water horse. It took the form of a pretty small grey horse, about the size of a Sheltand pony, wearing a bridle and saddle, and was generally thought to be less dangerous than the each usige, though anyone who was tempted to ride on its back would be treated to a severe dunking as the little horse darted into the water with its rider. A ride on a noggle did not usually prove fatal, though. Unlike the each usige, which was known to rip its victim to pieces, the noggle would rise from the water with the rider on its back and vanish in a blue flame.

Noggles could be identified by their tails, which curled over their backs like a half-wheel. They were often found in the vicinity of water mills and were fond of causing mischief by seizing the wheel at night and preventing it from spinning. They could be driven away by the sight of a long steel knife or a burning brand.

Check back to meet a fairy a day in the run up to the release of The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies on 28 August, 2014.