In the same way, horses have gone through
many mutations before they entered in the
realm of fantasy and magic as an important
part of the adventures. Out of Greek
mythology comes the first wings set on the
back of horses, making them stallions of
beauty and grace rivaled only by the rarest
and most exotic birds. Now, the beauty of
horseback riding is outshined only by the
thought of riding a flying horse. Forgotten
the great legend of Bellerophon and Medusa,
now was the era of pegasus. These have
became a race of their own. Also from the
Greek mythology comes another interesting animal.
Half human, half horse, centaurs quickly
became one of my favorite legendary creatures.
painted by Boris Vallejo
Yorkshire Legends and Traditions of Wells England
Springs and wells of water have, in all lands
and in all ages, been greatly valued, and in
some regarded with a feeling of veneration little,
if at all, short of worship.
They have yielded their treasure to the
sustenance and refreshment of man and beast,
as age after age of the world's history has
passed along, and have been centers around
which village story and gossip have gathered
for generation after generation.
Little wonder, therefore, is it that legends
and traditions abound concerning them.
These are often extremely local, and therefore
The names alone, however, suggest much.
The memory of the mythical gods, satyrs,
and nymphs of the ancient heathen times
lingers in a few, as in Thors-kil or Thors-well,
in the parish of Burnsall; and in the
almost universal declaration -- by which not
over-wise parents seek to deter children from
playing in dangerous proximity to a well --
that at the bottom, under the water, dwells
a mysterious being, usually named,
Jenny Green-teeth or Peg-o'-the-Well, who
will certainly drag into the water any child
who approaches too near to it.
The tokens of medieval reverence for wells
are abundant. The names of the saints to whom
the wells were dedicated yet cling to them.
"There is scarcely a well of consequence in the
United Kingdom," says the editor of
Lancashire Folk-lore, "which has not been
solemnly dedicated to some saint in
the Roman calendar."
Thus in Yorkshire we have Our Lady's Well
or Lady Well, St. Helen's Well (very numerous),
St. Margaret's Well at Burnsall,
St. Bridget's Well near Ripon, St. Mungo's Well
at Copgrove, St. John's Well at Beverley,
St. Alkelda's Well at Middleham, etc.
Dr. Whitaker remarks that the wells of Craven,
which bear the names of saints, are invariably
presided over by females, as was the case
with wells under the pagan ritual, in
which nymphs exclusively enjoyed the same honor.
Source: Thomas Parkinson, Yorkshire Legends
and Traditions (London: Elliot Stock, 1888),
" ....once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music..."
from A Midsummer Night's Dream
Written by William Shakespeare