At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


This is a legend of the Gypsies or Romany.  They are a race that wandered into Europe and subsequently America and wander still.  Their ancestors originated in India.  They have their own language, which is related to Punjabi and is Indo-European.  The tale I am about to unfold tells of Ana, their fairy queen.

Ana was very beautiful, but also fairly fierce on occasion.  If you should hear her shout "ana!" and failed to throw a frog or an insect into a bush, she will bash your head in.  She can take on the shape of a frog, in which she leaves her black palace in the mountains.

The  King of the Demons, who rejoiced in the name of Beng (<Sanskrit pangka, 'mud') fell in love with her and proposed marriage.  She rejected his suit.  The demons then started to attack the fairies, so she acceded to his request, but he looked so ghastly that sex was out of the question.  Beng met a golden toad who told him to feed her a magpie's brain.  He did this and she fell asleep.  While she slept Beng made her pregnant and in due course she gave birth to Melalo, whose name means dirty.  He looked like a two-headed bird..    In due course Melalo wanted a wife, so his father made a love potion and inserted some drops into Ana.  She gave birth to Lilyi, who married Melalo.  Lilyi had a man's head and a fish's body.  Their third child was Tçulo, who looked like a prickly ball.  He married his sister Tcari, the next child, who looked like a worm covered in hair.

The king then gave Ana a disgusting potion.  This caused a white mouse to come out of her mouth.  He was called Schilalyi.  His wife was the next child, Bitoso, who looked like a multi-headed worm.

Poor Ana then gave birth to a daughter called Mincherko, who seems to have been engendered by a dung beetle who entered her body.  Later she gave birth to Poreskovo, who had four cats' heads, four dogs' heads, was an hermaphrodite who could self-fertilize and whose tail was a snake.

This was the last straw and the marriage ended in divorce, initiated by Beng, who had had enough horrible children.

The origin of this myth seems to be about how certain diseases, which originated with these creatures, entered the earth.

This is not a fairy tale where they all lived happily ever after.


J.P. Clébert The Gypsies Harmondsworth, 1967.
E.B. Trigg Gypsy Demons and Divinities London, 1975.
C. Lecouteux Dictionary of Gypsy Mythology Rochester, Vermont, 2018.  

No comments:

Post a comment