- European (culture)
- Rural (attribute)
- Mount (attribute)
- Troublesome (behaviour)
This is a mischievous spirit that plays tricks on people using many different forms. Sometimes it takes the shape of a cow and allows it to be milked. While being milked, it would kick over the bucket of milk and run away laughing. Sometimes it would go inside the house and scatter the cheese and give cream to the cats. Once a farmer got hold of a cane and tried to hit the cow, but the cow picked up the cane and hit the farmer instead.
The Hedley Kow can also go inside a bundle of fire wood that had been collected. When the farmer or the old women went to pick it up, the bundle would roll just out of reach laughing. Sometimes when the firewood was picked up it would grow enormously heavy that it was dropped and would then roll away laughing.
The Hedley Kow also takes the shape of a horse. When people rode the horse it would toss them into a stream and laugh. There is a story that tells of two separate individuals who had the same experience. Both went to see their sweethearts at the same time. They saw them in the distance but could not keep up with them no matter how hard they tried. They soon found themselves deep in a bog and their girl transformed into an ugly bogey. Scared, they ran out of the bog down two separate paths that led to each other. The two ran towards each other into a stream and mistook the other man for the bogey.
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Background Illustrations (Left top-bottom, right top-bottom): Medusa by Gonzalo Ordonez, Loch Ness Monster by dyb,
Basilisk by JustMick, Shuck by Serphire, Ts Um A Kas - Illustration of a rock painting (from Dover publications).