Mystical Mythical Creatures


Tessa H. and Sarah M.

     This is continued from the article about selkies in our October printed issue. If you got the newspaper, read it! Then, come here and finish reading the article.

     Hailing from English, Celtic, and British folklore, pixies are mischievous fairies clothed in green garments who dance in the moonlight to the sweet melodies of frogs and crickets. Pixies have a childlike appearance, as they are very small, so small that they could relish in the shade of a mushroom. Although their skin can be flesh-colored, it also comes in hues of blue and green. Like fairies, pixies’ ears are slightly pointed and they sport wings resembling those of a dragonfly. One of their prankish pastimes is leading travelers astray, along with blowing out candles and playing in water. They can also cast charms that affect the behavior of humans. Yet, their ability to bring a smile to the face of a human friend mellows out their trickster intentions. The words pixie-led and pixilated, which mean to be bewildered or confused, even led astray, derive from these pixie’s rogue spirits. Fairies, sprites, and pixies are often confused with one other, but they are actually quite different in behavior: fairies are sometimes seen as malicious, while pixies have playful tricks; sprites spend their time near the water, while pixies are woodland or meadow creatures.

     A very interesting mythological creature is the sphinx. She can be found in Greek mythology. The creature has a human, a cat, a sheep, or a falcon head. She has the body of a lion and falcon wings. The sphinx can also be found in Egypt, but this is going to be Greek mythology’s version. The reason she appears is in order to punish the town of Thebes as punishment for a crime. She was sent by the gods. People would be punished if they answered the Sphinx’s riddle. They would be devoured by the Sphinx if they got it wrong. The famous riddle that the Sphinx would give is, “What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three in the evening?” The answer to this riddle is a lot simpler than you think. The answer is a person. Then the king of Thebes went to the Sphinx in order to answer the riddle. He got it right. Because of this, the Sphinx ended her own life. No one is sure, but she either threw herself off of the cliff or she devoured herself. The Sphinx took many lives to punish the town and in the end, she died too.

     An intelligent fox that gets increasingly wiser as it ages, the kitsune is surely a sight to behold — especially when you see its nine tails and shapeshifting abilities. This creature has origins in Japanese folklore, and its name can mean Japanese fox, divine fox, or demon fox. As stated previously, they can have up to nine tails, depending on their age, wisdom, and overall power. The only way to kill them is to cut off each of their tails, which act almost like a lifeline. And when they gain a ninth tail, their fur turns a shade of cream white or golden. Like the selkie, it can shift into a human form when it reaches an age of one hundred years. There are also two main types of kitsune: one is benevolent, called zenko; the other one is malevolent, called yako. Yet, regional tellings of the myth of the kitsune add even more forms; in example, the ninko, which is an invisible fox spirit that lets humans see it as it possesses them.

     All of these mythical creatures have interesting backstories and myths that coincide with their mystifying powers and abilities. These were some of our favorites, but there are so many more to learn about!