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Kludde in Flemish Folklore

In Flemish folklore, Kludde was a malicious water or tree spirit.

Kludde is alleged to have lived in hole bushes or to have lived in lakes and be amphibious. Kludde left his residence solely at evening, both simply earlier than daybreak or simply after sundown, looking for vacationers to torment and even slay.

Kludde normally took the form of a huge black canine with massive claws and protruding eyes. He was bigger and bulkier than a Saint Bernard, and he walked on his hind legs. Iron chains held on his physique and dragged on the bottom round him. Despite this awkward posture and the burden of the chains, Kludde was ready to transfer extra swiftly than a person. A shape-shifter, Kludde additionally may take the type of an enormous black cat or horrible black chicken, or swing swiftly via the bushes as an ideal serpent.

The solely warning of his strategy was the sound of rattling chains. Whatever form Kludde took, he remained lined with chains. Sometimes, the whim would strike him to stroll together with a traveler with out doing any hurt and to let the traveler go when the particular person entered a home. At different instances, Kludde would leap onto a traveler’s again and cling so firmly that he couldn't be shaken free. The traveler can be compelled to carry Kludde as he grew heavier with each step. In excessive instances, Kludde would even kill the traveler.

Kludde is alleged to have lived for a time on a small bridge close to the city of Schelle. One evening, he leaped onto a lady’s again and clung there till she managed to wrestle residence. ThenKludde sprung off and ran away into the evening.

In one other neighborhood in Schelle, a household occurred to be speaking about Kludde after they heard the sound of chains in the
hallway. When they prayed, the sound stopped. But it got here once more the subsequent evening, and the evening after that. Their neighbor was a butcher, who promised to assist them. When the sound began once more that evening, the butcher bumped into the home with a big knife in one hand. Coming face to face with Kludde, the butcher threw his knife, hanging Kludde and inflicting him to howl in ache, race off, and by no means return to Schelle.

An in depth relative of Kludde’s was Osschaart, who was additionally a shape-shifter. Osschaart seemed like a man-headed bull in chains. Osschaart harassed vacationers and any fishermen who failed to throw their first catch again into the water.