DESCRIPTION: Giant, Black, Winged, Hairy, Ugly
PROVENANCE: Belgian Folklore
The Kludde is a nocturnal creature popular in folklore in the middle ages. Though most commonly depicted as a heinous large dog with wings, the Kludde is a shape-shifter and will appear in the form of a black dog, cat, snake, bad, bird, frog, horse and sometimes even a bush or human being. Whatever form, he always walks on his hind legs, stalking travelers after sunset. It is said that right before an attack, a victim might hear the Kludde calling its own name and the rattle of chains. The Kludde is able to adapt its speed, height and weight for the service of an attack.
The Kludde is a trickster fairy who maliciously tortures and humiliates human beings. Unlike other bad fairies who may merely be annoying and self-serving, the Kludde actually means to harm human beings, even by bizarre and convoluted means. For example, in one tale the Kludde presents itself as a wounded animal that needs to be carried to safety; all the while becoming heavier and heavier until the helpful human carrier is crushed.
It is said to be very difficult to escape from a Kludde once he has targeted his victim. He is quick and able to keep up speed even while zigzagging through twists and turns.
MORE ABOUT THE KLUDDE:
- Not all Kludde tales involve an attack on humans. Some legends describe the Kludde harmlessly annoying humans by taking the form of a houseguest and carelessly wasting firewood.
- Though the Kludde is depicted in animal form, he is capable of speech.
- Kludde’s dark tendencies have been a source of inspiration to heavy metal bands and breweries.