The Beautiful Beast Picture

When I was very little, my parent often told me that I should never go near the river bank on my own when playing outside. They told that in the river there lived a monster that lured people into water and then ate them. I was so afraid of that monster and never went near the river on my own, and that was quite common way to prevent children from drowning and not swimming too deep. I was afraid that if my legs wouldn't reach to the bottom anymore, Näkki would pull me under the water surface.

The monster they told me about is known in many cultures, but with different names. In Finland, the monster living in rivers and lakes is called Näkki, and it could take either female or male form, depending of who it was trying to lure into water with it's beauty and singing and playing. It's similar creature to sirens, mermaids and the like. In Sweden it's portrayed as young and beautiful male playing violin.

It's said that it could also be guardian of wells and bridges that reached over rivers. It's true from varies from being portrayed as a giant mass of water plants and moss or a frog/lizard like creature. It was also said that you could drive Näkki away by throwing a rock into the water, because it would cause a strong kinahmi water whirl ( or kurimus). Inside kurimus lived a great dragon that Näkki was afraid of.

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