The Púca is a shapeshifter from Celtic and Irish folklore. They’re also known as Pooka, Phouka, or even Phooka, depending on how you like to spell things.
A Horse, a Goat, a Rabbit?
The most common form of the Púca is a sleek black horse with amber eyes, but it can also become a goat or a rabbit. Every once in a while, legend turns it into a dog, and eagle, or a goblin. Interesting mix of critters, no?
Whatever form it takes, the shifter always has dark fur and is often tied to faery mythology. Apparently, it’s possible to ride a Púca in horse form, but there’s no telling where you’ll end up!
Good or Bad?
On that same note, some legends have our dear Púca as a bad little horsey who tramples crops, breaks fences, and scares farm animals. If you got on the back of one of these guys, your long trip would end in a terrible place. Of course, silver spurs might just get you off. In some tales, the Púca drinks blood or eats its victims.
Of course, he’s not all bad. He has the power of human speech and can give good advice or warn of danger. Sometimes, they even take a shine to a particular mortal and give good gifts.
Into the Story
I’ve seen some pretty nifty stories with Púca, or Phouka. Usually in faery stories. However, those stories didn’t take full advantage of the host of shifting options available to a Púca. I mean, in most stories, he’s got at least three forms. Now, isn’t that quite the catch?