Friday, November 4, 2011

The Rat Man of Ireland (and Sometimes Scotland)

Today is the first Faerie Friday of Hairy Beastie month.  Yay for Hairy Beasties!  I’ve tried to narrow down the list of a dozen or so Hairy Beasties that I came up with a few weeks ago.  As usual, I fear that I have chosen the wrong ones.  We shall see.

I’m taking a workshop at titled Faeries and Dragons of the Silk Road and Beyond.  As in the case with most of the online workshops I’ve taken, the participants post a little about themselves and why they are taking the class.  In my intro, I stated:

When I try to develop the character, I look at the creature and ask myself this: “If this guy could/would talk to me, what would he/she say?  What would he/she be like at a cocktail party?”

I decided to try that approach with this week’s featured creature: The Fir Darrig

The Fir Darrig (or Fir Dhearga, Fear Dearch, Far Darrig, and I am sure there are other spellings) wouldn’t be the first person you’d notice at the party since he stands somewhere between a foot to two and a half feet in height.  He’s either portrayed as an ugly hairy gnome-like creature or a dirty filthy rat with a bright red hat.*  In this exercise, I’m going with dirty filthy rat because, well, it speaks to me.  He’s an ugly little beast with beady eyes, a rodent snout and a long rat tail.  He’ll lament he’s so ugly from all his years in faerie land.

You’d probably smell the Fir Darrig first before you notice him.  He hangs at the dump and in the sewers. 

You can bet he’s not on the guest list.  He’ll breeze through the front door and go right for the good stuff – the expensive Irish whiskey.  Like many unwanted guests, he’ll laugh harder at his own jokes.  He’ll talk to anyone who will listen and attempt to regale your guests with his adventures of smuggling humans from faerie land.  He’d shake his shillelagh to emphasize his heroicness.

Don’t be fooled the Fir Darrig.  You can’t believe a word he says, but he’s really quite harmless unless you are downwind of him.

What is your favorite Hairy Beastie?  How would you portray them in a book?

*On an aside, I’m not sure what the deal is with faerie creatures with red hats and clothing.  Are they gang colors?  I don’t know.  I must research!

1 comment:

  1. Does Chewbacca count?

    I'm not really into the hairy thing. I prefer smooth skin.

    Maybe faeries like red because it's so bright and cheerful. It certainly wouldn't be because it reminds them of their favorite snack food - human blood. :)