Hello readers! I apologize fervently for the long break in between this and my last post. Sorry. Really.
This week: Ten Monsters and Beasts
Our first creature for today is the Tarasque, a turtle dragon man creature. It is the son of the Leviathan and the Onachus. When it started attacking boats and people walking along the shore of its river home, Saint Martha came to tame it. She succeeded and was bringing it back to town when the townspeople attacked.
It didn’t fight back and was killed. Later they felt bad that they had killed a tamed creature and named their town Tarascon in its honor.
Have you ever seen that old symbol of a dragon with its tail in its mouth making a circle?
It’s called an Ouroboros. One of the most ancient symbols representing unity and power, it is even found in the Egyptian Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld.
Well, the Hoop Snake is like that. It rolls around and tries to capture people. The only way to defeat them is to jump through them like a flaming hoop. This confused them and they fall over helpless.
No doubt, this is the weirdest mythical creature I have ever heard of. A talking umbrella. Yep.
The Cape Lobo is a creature from Brazilian Folklore. Like a werewolf, the Cape Lobo transforms at night. But unlike the werewolf, the Cape Lobo becomes a Anteater monster. It attacks humans and sucks out their brains with his snout.
From Hawaiian Folklore. As a shark with four legs, the Nanue has developed over the years to become more and more humanoid. In some versions of the legend, it is a were-shark: a human that becomes a shark.
The Raiju is a lightning powered weasel (or dog) from Japanese Folklore. When traveling long distances, it curls into a ball and flies around- causing Ball Lightning. It is normally calm and peaceful, but during storms it goes wild and yells, causing thunder. Sometimes in its rampage in crashes into buildings and they are promptly struck by lightning from its fur.
This next creature happens to be one of my personal favorites, for obvious reasons. It’s awesome! The Peryton is a FLYING STAG. From ATLANTIS! When Atlantis was destroyed, the Peryton population flew away, and now lives in desolate areas and mountains, hunting mountain goats. They are fierce predators of man and beast, but can be tamed.
Now we come to my All-Time favorite- the Enfield. They are from Medieval Heraldry, meaning they would appear on the shields and banners of knights as they went into battle. The Enfield symbol builds on the ancient image of the Cunning Fox, clever and sometimes even magical. Some banners keep it basic- a fox with bird’s wings, but other versions got fancier and added such flairs as a lion’s tail and mane, a greyhound’s chest, and a wolf’s legs.
POLONG AND PELESIT
A pair of evil creatures, the Polong and Pelesit often work for warlocks. They attack people and can only be called out by garlic. They will repeat the name of the warlock who sent them.
In some areas, the water is so cold that trout are forced to grow coats of fur. That’s the story at least.
Pictures belong to their respective copyright holders and the author does not claim ownership over them.
This authority needs no introduction. It’s about Halloween.👻
Well, the most obvious Halloween creature is the ghost. This comes from the old traditions of Halloween as the Day of the Dead. Families would leave out food for the ghosts and sometimes even dress up as them as part of the ritual.
Ghosts, as well as their fellow undead spirits, make up a huge percentage of Halloween creatures, and maybe also mythical creatures in general.
These are just a few.
There’s just something creepy about skeletons. Especially when they are alive. These can range from the comedic Dancing Skeletons to the Skeleton Wizard.
They will usually serve as horde bad guys, attacking in swarms. Easy to kill, but hard to eradicate.
Often they will serve a necromancer master or something of that sort.
These are a pretty common Halloween creature, but not as common as ghosts. They are made of slime and blob around.
These creatures come and go in the blink of an eye. They are hard to see and fade into the shadows before you can tell anybody else about them.
Definitely the coolest Halloween Haunt around.
They are just floating skulls. They eerily fly around and then scare all the dogs in the neighborhood.
These monsters live in the attic. When little children are sleeping, the Bluers will come and capture them.
Don’t swim on Halloween, folks.
They use their evil magic to summon a whole bunch of ghosts and things. Then they fly around in the middle of the night turning people into werewolves. After that their whole gang of creepy monsters charges through the streets, capturing anyone still Trick-or-Treating. If anyone has the Halloween spirit, it’s these guys.
Banshees are that creepy noise you hear in the middle of the night that sound like “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.” They are strange and enjoy scaring everybody around. However, they also are useful. If somebody is about to die, you know that you’d better start working on your funeral speech because the Banshee will start wailing like crazy. If it sings for a really long time, you know there’s about to be a battle or a massacre and you can run away.
Creepy dog hacker
The creepy dog hacker has a bad habit of hacking into the Internet on Halloween and posting millions of selfies on Instagram to scare everyone. They are known to work for the Illuminati.
This strange ghost enjoys floating around on Halloween to scare everyone. They gather in huge flocks over towns and wail.
The vampire is a ghost. They go back to get revenge on people in their neighborhood and drink their blood. In the last few centuries Vampirism has been contained, however in the old days it spread easily from one creature to the next, creating such abominations as the vampire rabbit and the vampire pumpkin (no I’m not making those up, they are from real folklore).
These are just the typical house spirits that float around going Boo… Boo… and making noises. They aren’t destructive like poltergeists or creepy like phantoms, they are just small depressed little guys.
As mentioned earlier, part of the witches’s plan is to turn people into monsters. One of their favorite transformation to inflict is to turn a normal person into a wolf. Sometimes a werewolf will keep their old personality, which makes them quite sad because they won’t be able to rejoin their family and friends, but mostly they become monsters. The more human a werewolf is on the inside, the more wolflike they are on the outside. The ones you should really be afraid of are the almost human ones.
These spirits are very weak, but there’s a lot of them. They work for witches.
These scary tree-like monsters hide in the forest and bonk people on the head as they pass. They often will raid houses on Halloween and steal all the pumpkins. They regard this as rescuing their unfortunate smaller cousins from captivity.
They pretend to be statues of lawn decorations (some even disguise as gnomes) but when you look away they swarm onto your back, tearing in with their sharp claws.
The Cucuribita Purplus Deamonus family of spirits includes many Pumpkin-like creatures. They are supposedly all descended from a giant pumpkin that some crazy fairy transformed into a talking sentient by accident (she was going for a carriage). These are some types:
While every body else is having a fun time at Halloween, the Lava Monster mopes around in alleys. He hates Halloween and Ghosts and anything to do with creepiness. For this reason anyone who comes near his house will be promptly chased away with much fiery magmatic explosions.
Monsters are very scary and strange. They come in all shapes and sizes.
Mummies are ancient Pharaohs that have been re-awakened by evil magic. They live in their Pyramids and attack people who mess with their stuff. Their only weakness is Prairie Dogs.
The wraith is a rare spirit. They wear black armor all over them so nobody can see them. Some can use dark magic to get allies for themselves.
Skeletons aren’t necessarily limited to mindless minions. Some have certain upgrades- like this guy.
Or this guy.
And some are giant.
They aren’t all human skeletons, either.
Pretty common. Just corpses reanimated by evil magic.
These spirits enjoy banging on their coffins (hence the name) and making a loud ruckus. They sometimes enjoy music, however, and many monsters around the world enjoy listening to them on the radio.
Like the Banshee, Grim Reapers (and their canine cousins, the Grims) these spirits float around to the doorsteps of people about to die. Their Knocker servants knock on the door, a banshee screams in the distance, and then you’re dead.
Although “Wight” just means “human being”, some people read LOTR and made up these. See, in LOTR there are the ghostly Barrow Wights- the people of the barrow. However some people thought it meant that wights were a type of ghost and these were just Barrow ones. But regardless it became a common creature and has taken on a bit of a “ghost king” role in the phantomical hierarchy.
In the air float around hundreds of thousands of little seeds. Like pollen, they are hard to see and will sometimes get stuck in your lungs. For this reason, in areas where the plague is common all dead bodies will get burned. Whenever a dead body is left unburied for some reason, they become a Corpsevine Walker.
Like normal zombies, they attack the living. That’s the plague’s way of spreading. They are mainly just a nuisance when it’s just one- easy to be trap in a pig pen and burn, but sometimes after battles big flocks can wipe out an entire village.
Hailing from the Middle East, these flesh-eating spirits live in tombs. However, if you wander too near their habitat, then expect a large problem of being eaten.
Zombie gnomes are another type of zombie. They are gnome zombies.
No haunted House is complete without these creepy accessories.
Bats are common creepy animals. They are vampires in disguise.
Cats were once considered holy animals, but that turned around in the Middle Ages and many cats were suspected of being Spirit Guides for witches.
These guys are just creepy for some reason.
As part of the Halloween Jumbo Authority, I shall include a gallery illustrating common Halloween Tropes with explanatory captions.
Well, thank you for reading the Halloween Jumbo Authority! I leave you with this video:
Zombies are dead people (reanimated to work for an evil magician) from Haiti folklore.
Interchangeable with the wampus cat, these creatures are known for transforming into mountain lions. When not in cat form they are human. They come from Vermont folklore, and their name is short for “cat o’ the mountain.”
(There is also a real animal called the catamount)
The Boggarts are another type of Bug or Bogie from English folklore, derived from the puca of Celtic folklore, which themselves are based on Puck, (who is derived from the fauns and satyrs and Pan of classical literature), but unlike the boggle these are more associated with the home than the, well, bog.
They put pins on the stairs.
They put butter in the slippers.
They tie the horses’ tails together.
Well, some say they are brownies that turned evil after being offended. Some say they are evil spirits that can sense your greatest fear and transform into it. Some say they are evil “pixie dust” that has built up for two long, and takes on the shape of a little monster.
These are Japanese spirits that punish evil humans and eat people. Kind of like ogres.
Kappas, also from Japanese folklore, are drowning monsters. Their weakness is if you can get them to bow their head down. You see, their power comes from some water in a bowl on their head. So:
“What?” (looks down) “AAARRGGH!” (faints and disappears beneath the water.)
The vila are spirits from Slavic folklore. They are basically slavic nymphs. They are spirits of the wind, sometimes classified as fairies, and enjoy singing in their free time. So, yeah. For all intents and purposes, these are nymphs.
OK, I’m sorry that a lot of this week’s creatures are Interchangeable Alternately Named. But that happens a lot when one gets deeper into mythology. So as these creatures get rarer, they also get, well, more repetative. But bear with me, because it’s still cool.
“Nain Rouge” is French for Red Dwarf. They take up all the normal fairy roles of Housekeeper, Shapeshifter, and hating oddly specific things, like Salt on the doorstep or horse tails with bows in them.
They spread to Canada along with the French, and in Michigan there is one specific Nain Rouge, THE Nain Rouge, who always shows up when something bad is about to happen.
When a poor man dies, his blood turns into one of these. So some old battlefields will have a whole swarm of these running around. They carry a long spear and will kill anybody they see. They are impossible to outrun, so your only chance is to outsmart them.
The good version of Redcaps. These live in mines and warn workers about cave-ins.
Imps are evil spirits, mischievous and mean. They are known for red or purple skin, devil horns, and a spiked tail. They have, over time, developed into minions for witches. However it is probable that they began as standard fairies.
On New Year’s Day, I made a New Year’s goal to make a complete fantasy card game with every single mythical creature I had ever heard of. After about ten cards, I got bored. Well, I had still compiled a huge list of mythological, folkloric, cryptic, and fantasy creatures, so I decided that I would publish them, in groups of ten, on my blog.
If you want to read the others, search ‘List of mythical creatures’ in the search bar to the left.
The Troglodytes are lizard humanoids. Examples can be found all over the place, from D&D to the Wingfeather Saga. They are known for being very unadvanced in their technology and for being evil.
Frogfolk, AKA frog bros, talking frogs, etc. are humanoid frogs. Some are almost Half-Slug, with only arms no legs. These are called Dramfrogs. Other versions include Hippodramfrogs which are part horse part frog, Dramagons which are part dragon, Dramfrogbunny I think this one is obvious, and Drambirds.
In D&D, they are called Bullywugs.
The Gargoyle is a cool creature that lives in cities. They are, of course, named after the statues on walls. That’s because to most people they just look like statues hiding way up on the rooftops. Gargoyles are sort of like the fantasy equivalent of pigeons, living in the big cities in huge colonies.
They are masters of disguise, which led to some people thinking they turn to stone during the day.
These little guys are very peaceful. They will often live in Faerie along with Sprites, Gnomes, Pixies, and Elves. In video games they are usually non-player characters, except for maybe one individual out of the race that joins the adventure (Toad).
Derived from the same root word as Ent, these are two headed giants. They are more powerful than normal giants. They are especially known for being two-headed, and the young ettins are called boggles.
The awesome grindylows recently received a popularity boost when they were included as lake monsters in Harry Potter. They are one of the few mythical creatures that completely originated in England, and are said to drown people that come near their watery homes.
Also water creatures, the vodnici are strange old creatures that live in rivers, usually by waterfalls. They look like little frogs.
In original Hindu literature, these are a type of carnivorous spirit. They were adapted by Dungeons and Dragons as a race of evil humanoid tigers. The Rakshasi have been included in many fantasy settings and worlds since their inclusion as one of the first creatures to be introduced to D&D. Some settings include crocodile headed rakshasas and such, but most stick with the tiger model. In D&D the Naityan Rakshasas can shapeshift.
The Gnoll is a humanoid hyena. It’s from D&D. Yup.
These are basically strange fairies that imitate you exactly and take your place. Sort of like changelings.
The Sphinx is one of the most ancient motifs of culture. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks all used it. The criosphinx is one of the most ancient sphinx types, and represents Aman the Egyptian god of winds and Allfather of the pantheon.
Ents are one of Tolkien’s coolest ideas. They are mentioned briefly in the Silmarillion because Yavanna is afraid that the dwarves will cut down many of her precious trees. So she asks Eru Illuvatar to create shepherds for the trees.
The name ent is based on the Old English word for giant, ‘Ettin’ or ‘ent’, and their treeish nature was based on folk traditions of talking trees and dryads.
These classic monsters are just giant potatoes. They are not very common, but they should be because, let’s face it, they’re awesome.
Once a boy ate his finger. Then he ate his whole body except his head, which now goes around trying to eat other people. They are very ferocious and often associated with the hoop snake in the same way hags are associated with werewolves.
The Basilisk is a monstrous serpent that can kill you just by looking you in the eye. They hate roosters and are hatched from toad eggs incubated by a snake. They commonly live in sewers and their only weaknesses are mirrors, like Medusa.
BICORN AND CHICHEVACHE
Now these are some of my favorite funny creatures, coming from French folklore. They are husband and wife and are some sort of Panther-Cow-Unicorn mix. The Bicorn eats good husbands, and so is very plump and healthy. The Chichevache eats good wives, and so is starved and thin.
The Bicorn is mentioned in Harry Potter, but does not take any sort of main role in the plot. The Chichevache is very rare, there is not even a Mythology Wiki entry for it.
The Abominable Snowman is different from the yeti because, whereas the yeti is magical, the Abominable Snowman is just really awesome. He is hugely big, bigger then a giant, and can take down frost dragons, ice elves, and even unicorns. Abominables (Bumbles) are known for bouncing when they fall from a height and melting in water. They also like Ice Cream.
The Uktena are just one example of the recurring horned snake theme in North American folklore, and are associated with rivers. This river association also runs deep, as many other legends have dragons or saurs living in streams or by Sacred Bridges. The Estakwanayv or Tie-snake is a lesser river serpent, still powerful but subject to the Uktena.
There was once a very powerful race of serpents that were destroyed by the Thunderbirds, and small saurs like lizards and snakes are all that’s left of them. The little people, the Yehusari, like to ride on Uktena while going to far off villages.
SLIME CUBE/ZOL/SLIME MONSTER
These creatures are very common, and are often included in a Monster Mash type of thing. They often can pop into a swarm of smaller slimes when killed.
Koalas are cute little fluffy critters, but their carnivorous cousins, the drop bears, are some of the most ferocious monsters of the planet. They hide in trees, and when someone walks under they leap down and attack.
Dvergr is the Norse word for dwarf, so I named this authority that because it sounds like I’m smart when I translate stuff into other languages.
DVERGR AND SVARTL
Germanic mythos was very influential. Elves, lindworms, and wights all come from there. The two other mythologies that stem from it, English and Norse mythologies, produced Ogres, Gargoyles, Bugbears, Trolls, Jotuns, Grindylow, Bogies, Bogiemen, Bogtocracies, Boggarts, Gremlins, Orcneas, Ettins, Ents, Hobgoblins, and others. Most modern fantasy derives from this.
In Norse Mythology, Dvegr live in Niddaveller. However, there is also a controversy about Svartlheim, home of the Dark Elves. Let me explain. There are Svartalfar, murky elves; Dokkalfar, the Dark Elves; and Ljosalfar or light elves. To make matters even worse, elves here are commonly called alfs.
Svartalfar are sometimes thought to be synonymous with Dokkalfar. All we know for sure is that Dokkalfar live underground (like dwarfs) and Ljosalfar live in Alfheim.
Anyway, what this has to do with dvergr (dwarfs, you will recall) is that often elves and dwarfs are indistinguishable from one another, even more so than other small fairy folk because these guys come from the same mythos. Elves and Dwarfs were two mischievous creatures that were called in by Odin for judgement.
Those dwarfs that had been particularly evil were sent to keep the fire at the center of the earth burning. Dwarfs that had only been mean little twerps were sent to mine for jewels. The elves were very nervous when Odin called them up, but he said that they had only been foolish, and sent them to Alfheim to take care of the flowers.
In this story Dark Elves and Svartalfar are not explained, but the Dark Elves were probably elves that were particularly evil, and they were sent to live with the dwarfs at the core. As for Svartalfar, maybe they were dark elves that somehow escaped from their punishment and became part of the Jotun army.
Gnomes are spirits from “Renaissance Magic.” Their name comes from a root word meaning “earth dweller,” and they were originally described as shy earth elementals, sometimes guarding underground treasures or caves. In Alchemy, they were one of the four elemental spirits, the others being Salamanders for fire, Undines for water, and Sylphs for air. Gnomes, of course, were Earth.
They are SIMILAR to gnomes, but come from different time periods of folklore. They became similar to goblins in later Fairy Tales, and began to lose their Earth Spirit status, becoming household faey and morphing with brownies, leprechauns, and kobolds.
When Fairy Tales dropped away and fantasy books took their place, writers had to choose between the many different types of Gnomes. In Wizard of Oz, the “Nomes” are evil monsters that live underground (like Earth Gnomes) and cause trouble for Oz. In early drafts of Tolkien’s mythos, the Noldor elves were called Gnomes. This name can still be found in the Book of Lost Tales, published after Tolkien’s death.
C.S. Lewis used gnomes as underground people who hate the idea of living on the surface like flies clinging to the ground. They prefer to live down in the Deep Lava with Salamanders (notice that both of these species are alchemic elementals.) They are also called the Earthmen, and are very strange looking- some have pig heads and hippopotamus heads or tails and tusks.
One cartoon series, David the Gnome, which was followed by Wisdom of the Gnomes, established Gnomes as nature protectors. Their enemies are Trolls. The whole thing was based on books by Will Huygen.
Also, the Garden Gnome statues proved to shape the modern conception of gnomes almost completely. Google “gnomes” and you’ll find little bearded guys with pointy hats gardening. Well, that’s pretty similar to a dwarf, don’t you think? And even if you forget that and trace gnomes back to their roots, you find both are underground humanoid spirits.
So, many fantasy worlds make a point of distinguishing gnomes and dwarfs.
In the Silmarillion, the origin of dwarves (yes, Tolkien uses a different spelling) is this: they were created by Aüle who was impatient for the coming of the elves. When Eru saw this, he let the dwarfs live, but said they would still have to wait until the elves came. So the seven dwarf fathers were put in mountains.
When the time came, they emerged and befriended the elves and men, except for the bad ones, “petty dwarfs”. The good dwarfs, also called Khazad, helped fight Morgoth’s armies during the First Age. During the second age, not much is known about dwarves except that seven of them were given the Dwarf Rings (You know, the elves got three, men got nine, dwarves got seven, and Sauron got one*).
*Three, nine, and seven are all magical numbers.
In the Third Age, the dwarven empires were having a lot of trouble with dragons and… ORCS!!! They have a giant war with the orcs called the War of Dwarves and Orcs (creative name).
Then Gimli is part of the quest to destroy Sauron, which succeeds!
Then the dwarves fade from history.
A lot of dwarf stereotypes come from Lord of the Rings. First, their reputation as enemies of the elves- the elves hunted the petty-dwarves to extinction before they realized they were sentient creatures, so, yeah. But in later ages the two races got a long pretty well, except for a few wars and feuds.
Second, their reputation as a fading race. Third, their gruff honor and stout pride. Literally, every dwarf has this same personality!
Just to give you an idea of how heavily Tolkien influenced dwarvish fantasy, these are the dwarves (actually Warhammer uses the “Dwarfs” spelling) from Warcraft, Warhammer, D&D, LOTR, and Magic:
Those are all pretty similar right?
The Dwelmer, aka Dwarves, Deep ones, or Deep Elves, are a “lost race” in The Elder Scrolls. They were a powerful race with lots of technology that hated magic.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, most Black Dwarfs served under the White Witch, whereas Red Dwarfs tended to side with Aslan. Later, at the time of the Telmarines, both dwarf races fought against a common foe, however some tried to call back the White Witch to help them and some tried to call Aslan.
Renegade Dwarfs are half human and lived among the Telmarines after the Old Narnians were driven into hiding. The Monopods are foolish dwarves who became one-legged when they angered their ex-star master, Coriakin.
Well, that concludes yet another Authority, folks! Next: either a fairy authority or an undead authority. I haven’t decided. If you have an idea of what authority you want to see next, comment about it! If not, just drop a Like. If you REALLY, REALLY like this blog, or actually even if you don’t, then subscribe.
Talking Animals are one of the most popular types of characters in fiction, and not just fantasy. Talking Animals in folklore and legends go back to Greek and Egyptian myths, where the gods would turn into animals. Odin in Norse Mythology had two talking ravens who would bring him all the news of the day.
THE HIERARCHY OF TALKING ANIMALS
The term talking animal is hard to define. Is it an animal that can talk? Seems obvious right? But then what about creatures that look just like animals? What about ghosts that turn into animals? What about Black Cat Spirits? These are some basic classifications of talking animals:
Semi-Talking Animal. These don’t really have conversations or anything, but they seem to be aware of what’s going on. They are usually used for comedy relief or as cool sidekicks. Like Swift in David the Gnome or that parrot in the Treasure Island cartoon.
Normal animals. That talk. Also there will usually be a kid who learns that language and helps them, or just naturally know it from the Good Karma Power of Being an Innocent Kid. (Yeah right.) This is used all over the place.
Beatrix Potter cute village animals. They have human customs, can talk to one another, and are the perfect setting for a silly story about talking animals. It seems the humans are aware that the animals are sentient social beings, (I mean it’s kind of obvious, they wear clothes and stuff) but think it’s normal. Kind of like in Brer Rabbit.
Mutants. They are humans or animals that got mutated and look like animal people because of magic or mutation or magical mutation. These are very common because they are cool: In Amulet it is a curse making all the humans in one of the cities look like animal people; the Beast from X-men is a human that becomes a beastman (at least originally), actually lots of super heroes like Squirrel Girl, Lizard, etc. turn into humanoid animals. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for example.
Sometimes talking animals are used to represent types of people. From this, certain animals get categorized into different roles. Most of this comes from Aesop’s Fables. For instance, the fox is always “sly,”
the tortoise will always be “slow and steady”,
the bear will always be kind of dumb,
the badgers remember,
Peacocks are vain,
Ravens are wise and clever, (Ravenclaw)
Lions are the kings of the Jungle,
Mice will always be lecturing people about how size doesn’t matter,
Donkeys are foolish and lazy,
And ants are hard working.
Werewolves are very common. In fact, they are one of the Classic Horror Movie Monsters. (The others are Vampires, Empty Armor Ghost, and Frankenstein’s Monster)
By the way, did you know that the legend of werewolves transforming into wolves at the full moon is not in original folklore? It comes from later black and white movies. Original Werewolves were most commonly people with curses on them.
There are other types of were-animals, like were-jaguars, were-potatoes, were-bunny rabbits, etc.
Now, these are usually the Beatrix Potter kind- animals that talk and stuff and nobody thinks anything of it. Except, here they don’t act like humans in their social structure, government, etc. They are just animals. And they talk. Nothing weird about that.
These feature prominently in folklore, such as How Man Got Fire (it’s not from Prometheus), Where Night Comes From, Why Spiders Make Webs, etc.
This is also a folklore thing. Shapeshifting type of Talking Animals are usually gods and spirits in disguise. In lots of legends people get transformed into animals and then at the end of the story they turn back into humans (e.g. The Frog Prince).
So, a lot of complicated situations can arise from this.
Anyway, the jotuns in Norse mythology would become monstrous birds, the Sun god Ra in Egypt would become a beetle, etc. etc. This was a pretty common thing.
Another type of talking animal is the Black Cat. Everyone has probably seen black cats on Halloween that live with witches, but few know the legend behind it. Black Cats were demons that took the form of animals and worked for witches. Creepy! This idea is pretty common in old folklore, and in Norse Mythology the Fylgia is part of the soul, and takes the form of an animal. Isn’t it interesting how traditions morph? For instance, the Fylgia is half Black Cat half Spirit Guide.