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The Unusual Times
Fiction & Drollery

The Three-legged God, the Iron-Toothed Vampire and other Peculiar Legends from around the World

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Reality, fact and fiction are three sisters who dance themselves into a stupor under the blubbery face of the wobbly moon. The diaphanous membrane that separates history from legend is frequently penetrated by human imagination and the dancing tempest of wavy nonsense. Join us, dear reader, as we explore peculiar legends from all around this great sagging sanguine globe. 

The T’cutt tribe of Western Nupania have a delightful creation story. They believe that our universe is a footprint of the three-legged god Guiyg. Whilst we live in the print left by his left foot, his middle footprint is the universe of dreams, and his third foot created the B’cawada (a dark universe that is the reverse of our own). The universe will end when Guiyg returns from a picnic and drops a bit of potato salad on his old footprints.

The Spade of Gruen
In certain parts of Scandinavia it is considered bad luck to lift a spade without first reciting the following: ‘Elk be glad, Elk be weasel, Elk return this spade to Gruen’. This superstition is said to come from the 9th-century bard Carl Gruen. He was the most beautiful story-teller and the finest singer in all of Denmark — but he was notoriously stingy with his gardening implements. One day his neighbour Asger asked Gruen if he could borrow his spade to dig up his turnips. The mean-spirited bard was so aggravated by the sheer cheek of this enquiry that he vowed revenge on his neighbour. That night he pushed a hungry weasel through Asger’s open window. A passing elk was so angered by witnessing this act that it returned to the forest and told the other elks. As a punishment, each day for the rest of his life, Carl received a rusty spade on his doorstep —delivered by an elk. 

The Gorbals Vampire
The sprawling Southern Necropolis in Gorbals, Glasgow, is home to quarter of a million dead bodies. In 1954, vigilante gangs (some armed with sharpened stakes) headed to the Necropolis in search of a particularly sinister ghoul. As the rumour went, two locals had been ripped to bloody shreds. The perpetrator? A seven-foot tall vampire with iron teeth. No such vampire was ever found, and nobody had been reported missing to the police. The authorities, as is their wont, decided to blame horror comics. Was the Gorbals vampire merely a case of mass hysteria? It would appear so… if it weren’t for the fact that an unusually tall man capable of vaulting ten foot walls has been sighted by several witnesses in 1976, 1991 and as recently as December 2014. The man, who has only been seen in or near the Necropolis, has been described as looking ‘unnaturally pale and slim’.

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