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Folklore: La Corberelle & the Slavic Navky

Back in Winter 2012, I had published a book of fantasy inspired short stories in French (that I promised myself I would translate into English one day, or even better, publish a bilingual book).

In my tale ‘La Corberelle(without giving the whole story away) I wrote about a sinister bird that comes back from the dead to haunt (and eventually punish) unfaithful lovers. This bird came out of my imagination, as I know nothing about Slavic folklore & beliefs. Not to mention that my story takes place somewhere in the Scottish Highlands.

I found, totally by chance, a similar creature mentioned in “L’Elféméride : Le grand légendaire des saisons by Pierre Dubois & Rene Hausman, called in Slavic folklore: the Navky. Apparently, ‘Navkies‘ are the ghosts of young children who died before being baptized or killed by their own mother. They wander around, crying and shivering until they find a nice soul that will bless them or welcome them in their house where they become protective spirits of the household.

But if they are being neglected or turned away, the Navkies’ grief can turn to hatred. If it were the case, they would hang out in trees (sometimes in the guise of an ominous black bird) staring at the people who denied them and flying at those same people to take away their cold heart (a bit like vampires).


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