Whilst I busy myself with preparations for the upcoming Society of Crypto-Conservationists field research project to Ireland where we will study fairy dogs, my mind wandered to other elusive magical creatures found within Ireland and their gaelic counterparts across the sea. One such creature that I have been steadfastly trying to find for years now (without luck) is the magnificent Wulver of the Shetland Isles.
Have you heard tales of them? Did you grow up fearing them? Respecting them? Perhaps, like me, you are desperate to see one. For those of you who have never heard of the Wulver, let me introduce you to one of the most benevolent magical creatures you could hope to meet.
The Shetland Isles where the Wulver makes its home are located roughly 100 miles off the north east coast of Scotland. Here, they inhabit caves in solitude and enjoy quiet lives, fishing for food as they sit peacefully on the coastal rocks. Just like otters of the mundane variety, Wulvers also have favourite rocks. Whereas an otter uses a rock as a plaything, Wulvers sit on their large rocks for hours, fishing for their next meal.
These creatures have often been mistaken for werewolves as they are tall humanoids covered in thick brown fur with a wolven head. However, unlike the shapeshifting werewolf, Wulver do not change with the moon. They are always Wulver – half man, half wolf. And very much unlike the werewolf, there have been very few reports of aggressive behaviours exhibited in these creatures. These wonderful creatures will only attack if they are threatened with harm. Otherwise, if treated with respect, they can be truly helpful. There are recorded incidents of Wulver leaving fish on the windowsill of starving families and safely guiding lost folks to the nearest town or village. It is even said that they will lead trusted folk to buried treasure hidden within ruins. I should be so lucky!
Once a common sight across the Shetland Isles, a Wulver sighting hasn’t been reported since the early 20th century. Is this a case of another magical creature being pushed into extinction by a rapidly changing world, or have they adapted and made a new life for themselves hidden from modern mundanes and witchards? I hope there are still Wulver in the Shetland isles, sitting on its favourite rock and passing the time away, happily fishing.