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pooka


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[Ir. púca; ON pukki].

Irish fairy presented variously in a large body of lore collected in the 19th century. In the works of T. Crofton Croker (1825–7) the pooka is malevolent and demonic, spoiling blackberries, and taking the form of a horse and offering unsuspecting mortals a dangerous ride. In Lady Wilde's Ancient Legends (1887) the pooka is benevolent and helpful, like the Scottish brownie. A common speculation links the pooka to the English folk figure Puck, although the Welsh pwca is a more likely Celtic cognate. Cf. Corn. BUCCA, Manx BUGGANE. The 6′ 3¢ invisible rabbit in Mary Chase's Broadway comedy Harvey (1944) is identified in the text as a pooka.

Subjects: Religion.


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