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robertogreco : skuggabaldur   4

Skoffín | A Book of Creatures
"Variations: Skoffin; Skuggabaldur, Finngalkn, Fingal; Urdarköttur, Naköttur; Modyrmi

Skoffin

The Skoffín is one of a complex of Icelandic fox-cat hybrids with a lethal gaze, combining the cunning of the fox with the cruelty of the cat. This group also includes the Skuggabaldur, Urdarköttur, and Modyrmi, all of which are variations on the same theme; they are also linked to the “demon harriers”, foxes sent by sorcerers to maul livestock.

A skoffín is born from the union of a male Arctic fox and a female tabby cat, and resembles both of them. Its gaze is so deadly that everything it looks at dies immediately, without needing to see it. Its exact appearance varies; it may even change color with the seasons like the Arctic fox does. Reports suggest that skoffíns are short-haired, with bald patches of skin throughout.

Skoffín kittens are born with their eyes wide open. If not destroyed immediately, they sink into the ground and emerge after 3 years of maturation. It is therefore imperative to kill sighted kittens before they can disappear into the ground. When a litter of three sighted kittens was born at a farm in Súluholt, they were placed in a tub of urine to prevent their descent into the earth, and were drowned by placing turf on top of them. The entire tub was then tossed onto a pile of manure and hay and set on fire. The mother cat was also killed.

Skoffíns are irredeemably vile and malicious, and satisfy their appetite for destruction by killing humans and livestock alike. They are best shot from a safe distance, ideally with a silver bullet and after having made the sign of the cross in front of the barrel, or having a human knucklebone on the barrel. Hardened sheep dung makes equally effective bullets.

Thankfully, skoffíns are not immune to their own gaze. An encounter between two skoffíns will lead to the death of both of them. As with basilisks, mirrors are their bane. Once a skoffín stationed itself on the roof of a church, and the parishioners started dropping dead as they left the building. The deacon understood what was going on, and had the rest of the congregation wait inside while he tied a mirror to a long pole and extended it outside to the roof. After a few minutes he gave the all-clear, and they were able to leave the church safely, as the skoffín had perished immediately upon seeing its reflection.

Eventually, confusion with the basilisk of the mainland muddled the skoffín’s image, leading to some accounts claiming it was hatched from a rooster’s egg.

The skuggabaldur (“shadow baldur”) or finngalkn has the same parentage as the skoffín, but is born of a tomcat and a vixen. It has very dark fur shading to black, sometimes has a deadly gaze, and preys on livestock. It may be killed in the same way as the skoffín. One particularly destructive skuggabaldur in Húnavatnssýslur was tracked down and killed in a canyon; with its last breath, it exhorted its killers to inform the cat at Bollastadir of its death. When a man repeated that incident at a Bollastadir farm, a tomcat – no doubt the skuggabaldur’s father – jumped at him and sank its teeth and claws into his throat. It had to be decapitated to release its hold, but by then the man was dead.

The urdarköttur (“ghoul cat”) or naköttur (“corpse cat”) is of less certain parentage. It may be a hybrid, but other accounts state that any cat that goes feral in Iceland eventually becomes an urdarköttur, and all-white kittens born with their eyes open will sink into the ground and re-emerge after three years in this form. Shaggy, white or black furred, growing up to the size of an ox, these felines kill indiscriminately and dig up corpses in graveyards. It may be killed in the same way, and is attached to the same story as the Bollastadir cat. Gryla’s pet, the Yule Cat, is most likely an urdarköttur.

The modyrmi (“hay wormling”) is a canine variant, created when puppies born with their eyes open sink into the ground and reappear after three years as wretched, virulent monsters. The specifics are the same as with the skoffín.

References

Boucher, A. (1994) Elves and Stories of Trolls and Elemental Beings. Iceland Review, Reykjavik.

Hermansson, H. (1924) Jon Gudmundsson and his Natural History of Iceland. Islandica, Cornell University Library, Ithaca.

Hlidberg, J. B. and Aegisson, S.; McQueen, F. J. M. and Kjartansson, R., trans. (2011) Meeting with Monsters. JPV utgafa, Reykjavik.

Stefánsson, V. (1906) Icelandic Beast and Bird Lore. The Journal of American Folklore, vol. 19, no. 75, pp. 300-308."
cats  foxes  animals  multispecies  morethanhuman  sestracat  iceland  hybrids  skoffín  skuggabaldur 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Mythical Icelandic Creatures: Skoffín | Iceland, Defrosted
"Over the next few weeks, I wanted to feature a series of mythical (or are they?) Icelandic creatures. I was inspired by a visit to the Sea-Monster Museum in Bíldudalur a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve kept an eye open for anything on the folklore and legends of Iceland’s strangest beasts. If you have any further information on them, or I’ve made an error with your favourite oddball animal, please just let me know!

Are we ready? Then I shall begin. With the Skoffín. The Skoffín is the fierce, dreaded offspring of an Arctic Fox mating with a female cat. The other option (male cat, and vixen) would produce a Skuggabaldur; a different beast altogether.

Skoffín are partially hairless, with formidable teeth and claws.

Skoffín are supposedly able to kill humans simply by looking directly into their eyes. I have met girls able to do something similar. Anyway, avert your gaze if you come across a Skoffín.
A newborn Skoffín is likely to disappear quickly, and may not return to their place of birth for up to three years, when they will feast on any nearby animal.

Most Skoffín are killed before they get to maturity, but if they do reach adulthood, killing them is not so easy. You’ll need some silver bullets, or the potentially risky strategy of using another Skoffín against the one you are trying to dispose of, in a kind of fatal staring competition. Steer clear of the Skoffín, I say."

[See also: http://www.allbordercollies.com/forums/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=4193 ]

[More creatures: http://griffinworldgeo.edublogs.org/2013/12/08/icelandic-mythical-creatures/
http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/04/g.html
http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/35092550/view/Iceland.2010.Creatures.SS.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irRk4mKYH08
http://icelandreview.com/news/2008/07/18/meet-icelands-monstershttp://books.google.com/books/about/Meeting_with_Monsters.html?id=P65WcgAACAAJ http://www.fauna.is/pagee.asp?lysing=publications

http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2008/09/26/more-monsters-and-mythical-beings-thorgeirsboli/
http://grapevine.is/mag/column-opinion/2008/10/10/more-monsters-and-mythical-beings-miklabaejar-solveig/http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2008/09/03/more-monsters-and-mythical-beings-skoffin/
http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2008/09/12/more-monsters-and-mythical-beings-utburdur/
http://grapevine.is/mag/feature/2009/02/13/monsters-and-mythical-beings-tilberi/
http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2008/07/29/hugleikurandmonsters/
http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2009/04/03/monsters-and-mythical-beings-nabuxur/
http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2009/05/08/monsters-and-mythical-beings-gryla/
http://grapevine.is/mag/column-opinion/2008/11/06/monsters-and-mythical-beings-the-worm-of-lagarfljot/
http://grapevine.is/culture/art/2008/12/10/the-christmas-cat/http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2009/01/12/monsters-and-mythical-beings-x-the-hidden-people-as-depicted-by-hugleikur-dagsson/
http://grapevine.is/travel/traveling-on-your-own/2008/05/09/chasing-monsters-in-east-iceland/

http://grapevine.is/travel/traveling-on-your-own/2011/06/24/you-will-believe-in-bildudalur-visiting-the-sea-monster-museum/
http://www.skrimsli.is/

http://galdrasyning.is/ ]

[from http://stamps.postur.is/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-387/523_read-2648/522_view-590/

"Icelandic legends abound with tales of strange creatures on land, in air and sea. There is an entire genre of legends involving “beings in lochs and sea”. Skoffin is said to be the offspring of a cat and a fox. Beachwalker, a creature of the sea, posed danger to sheep in the mating season. Shellmonster was a multilegged creature, rusty brown and hairy, which made a rattling sound when it moves. There was the poisonous Reverse-Fin Trout with all fins turning forward instead of backward. Iceland Post has issued a sheet with ten stamps featuring an artist’s conception of some of these creatures. Among them are the Horse-Whale, the Ghoul Cat, Sea Cattle, Seal Mother, Mouse-Whale and Red-Crest. A recently published book, “Meeting with Monsters” covers the best known of these legendary creatures. The book is available in Icelandic and English and can be ordered from Postphil Iceland." ]
iceland  myths  mythology  animals  monsters  skoffín  skuggabaldur 
july 2014 by robertogreco
skuggabaldur - Wiktionary
"skuggabaldur m (genitive singular skuggabaldurs, nominative plural skuggabaldrar)

1. (mythological creature, mythology) a creature from Icelandic folk belief who is the offspring of a tomcat (a male cat) and a vixen (female fox) or a bitch (female dog)

2. an evil spirit

3. an evildoer who anonymously commits outrages or evil deeds; a sneak"
myths  iceland  animals  mythology  monsters  skuggabaldur  skoffín 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Blue Fox (novel) - Wikipedia
"The Blue Fox (Icelandic: Skugga-Baldur) is a 2003 novel by Icelandic writer Sjón. The book was originally published by Bjartur and first published in the United States in 2013.



The book takes place in Iceland in 1883. It opens with a priest hunting a blue fox, then jumps backward to the days following up to the hunt. An herbalist buries the recently deceased woman with Down syndrome that he rescued from a shipwreck. It details their life together before returning to the present. The priest shoots and kills the mysterious blue fox he is hunting, but the sound from his rifle causes an avalanche. While trapped underneath the snow in a glacial cave, the priest starts to go insane. The fox comes back to life and argues with him about the invention of electricity and the priest kills the fox a second time, this time skinning her and wearing her fur. He then transforms into a blue fox himself. The book ends with a letter from the herbalist, who explains the girl with Down syndrome was the priest's daughter, whom he sold into slavery several years before the herbalist rescued her. [1]"
sjón  books  animals  iceland  novels  skuggabaldur  skoffín 
july 2014 by robertogreco

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