Kelpies have their origin in Scotland, though they are also
part of northern Irish faery lore where they are called
(ech-ooshk-ya) or fuath (foo-ah). The Cornish call them
which is derived from the Norse name sjofn, meaning a 'Goddess
of the Sea'. Those in Iceland know them by the name nickers,
being related to the nix (who are German water sprites). In
Shetland and the Orkney Islands they are called nuggies.
These foul-tempered denizens of the fae are rarely seen
today, a fact which is a blessing as humans are among the
favorite meals of these cannibalistic faeries. When other
faeries or humans were unavailable for dinner, kelpies chose
deer who had wandered too close to the lochs.
Irish lore describes them as web-footed water spirts, who
possess the manes and tails of horses and the bodies of women.
In Scotland they appear as friendly seahorses who allow
passing humans to mount them, drowning their hapless victims
once they're away from the shore.