Tag Archives: Legendary Creature

The Gentle Giant

Nationality: Spanish

Primary Language: Spanish/English

Age: 25

Occupation: Student

Residence: Madrid

Date: 3/28/2024


The Basajaun is a large, hairy human-like creature that we believe as Basques. He is believed to be a gentle giant, guardian of the woods, that helped our ancestors with agriculture and helped keep livestock alive. One of our mythological creatures that is believed to be the friend of Baque Shepherds. 


The participant has known this mythological creature for as long as he can remember and explains its origin from his hometown, Basque Country. He believes his parents first told him about it as they explained there were other entities that helped their agriculture. 


This mythological creature reminds me of the agriculturally used mannequin, scarecrow, as they most scare away predators from eating entering their agricultural lands. Although the Basajaun is more human-like and is able to communicate with the farmers. This myth relates more to the Basque country’s history though and their first homo-sapien ancestors, as they possibly encountered another civilization that taught them the intricacies of agriculture. 

Taily Poe Colorado Cryptid


“This guy is living in a cabin and he has two dogs, and he lives in the middle of nowhere. There’s no cars, no grocery stores, it’s old times, so he goes hunting in the dead of winter. He’s walking for hours and sees nothing, no animals, and he thinks it’s so strange. The woods are eerily quiet. He comes back and he goes to bed hungry and so do his dogs. Next day he goes out and looks for food again, and it’s eerily quiet, not even wind in the trees, just nothing, it doesn’t feel real. No food, no rabbits, no deer, no plants. Just snow and white and quiet. His dogs and him go to bed hungry. Next day he goes out, he’s exhausted, he hasn’t had food in him, his dogs are exhausted, he’s been walking for miles and miles. He’s lost and worn out. He sees a flash of black, and he’s like “what was that?” He sees the flash of black again and he shoots it. All he gets is this little tuft of meat that fell off, it seemed like it was cut off from the creature he shot. It seems like his tail, so he takes the tail and carries it back to his cabin. It’s not a lot of meat but it’s all he has, so he fixes it up, cleans off the skin and cooks it up, and he gives the leftovers to his dogs. He goes to bed full, wakes up in the morning, and goes hunting again. Suddenly it seems like the woods are alive again, he’s finding food, he’s finding rabbits, there’s some spring green poking through the snow, so he comes back with a good collection of food. He goes home, but as it gets dark it starts to get cold and eerie again. He starts to hear this voice from outside and some creaking on the roof. It goes “Tailyyyyyy poooooe. Taaaaaaaily poe.” He’s like “is this the wind? What noise am I hearing?” He hears it again. “Taaaaaaily poe, taaaaaaaaily poe.” He looks outside and sees nothing, it’s not windy out, so he closes the door and locks it cause he’s getting freaked out. He gets under the covers and he hears the voice all night but he tries to sleep. He wakes up in the morning, goes hunting again and gets a good amount of food. He’s got plenty of rabbits, he shot a buck. He goes home, cooks up his dinner. When it gets dark out again, he hears the voice again. “Taaaaaaaaily poe.” He checks outside, there are no branches scratching against his window, there’s nothing on the roof even though there’s incessant creaking. He closes and locks the door, but then he looks back at it and the door is cracked open. He hears it again “taaaaaaaily poe, taaaaaily poe.” He goes to bed even though he hears it all through the night. Next morning he takes his dogs out on a walk, goes fishing, he comes home and he cooks up the fish and feeds it to his dogs. Then he notices his dogs start barking at the door. Woof woof. So he lets them out, thinks maybe they have to pee, and the dogs start running. He calls them back, and they’re very well trained dogs, but only one comes back. He wonders what happened to the other, but he knows his dogs don’t run away so he figures the other dog will be back in the morning. So he closes the door, brings the one dog inside. It’s too dark and cold to look for the other one even though he’s very worried. He starts to hear it again. “Taaaaaaailey poe. Taaaaaailey poe. I know you have my tailey poe.” Now this part is new. He hears the creaking on the roof, wakes up in the morning, spends the whole day looking for his dog “Boy come here, come here!” He comes back to his cabin after looking for his dog, and sees his dog’s tail on the ground outside his cabin. He goes back inside, and the other dog starts barking at the door again. He lets his dog out, and the dog runs away. He’s now alone, he’s lost his two best hunting dogs. He closes the door, locks it, he’s freaked out and staring at the wall. The door slowly opens and he sees a black figure run towards him. He feels this pressure on his chest. He hears “Taily poe, taily poe, I’ll finally have my taily poe.” And then he dies. The end. So when you’re camping and you hear the wind saying “taaaaaily poe,” that means that Taily Poe is still looking for his tail and he might get you.” 


M is a 19-year-old college student from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She often goes camp and hiking in the woods, and her town has a lot of different cryptids and legendary monsters that people look for and talk about when in the woods. She says this particular story is a campfire story, and that Taily Poe is a cryptid that might come after you in the woods when you’re sleeping. She says that the story is meant to be ever longer, and that you’re supposed to add more to the story to make it as long as possible, she says the point is to add suspense. 


Taley Poe is a legendary cryptid who is supposed to be wandering the woods. He’s one of the many legendary creatures that cryptozoologists search for in deeply forested areas like Colorado. Cryptids like him arise from people’s fear of the wild and the unknown, both the certain knowledge that there are frightening uncontrollable beasts in the woods, and from the idea that the wild is the land of the devil. This particular story is also similar to a tale though because oftentimes the teller of the story doesn’t actually believe it happened, they’re just trying to frighten people while camping. The story is told in a very particular structure, and the informant said herself that you can add things to make it longer to add more suspense. This is an example of the Oral Formulaic Theory at work, earlier known as the Perry-Lord Hypothesis. This is the idea that folk story tellers are able to remember really long stories and are able to draw them out to engage the audience by adding certain formulaic speech into the story. We see examples of this formulaic speech in this rendition of the story, with the descriptions of which animals the  man was or wasn’t able to find while hunting, with the added description to detail his plight (ex:  “He’s exhausted, he hasn’t had food in him, his dogs are exhausted, he’s been walking for miles and miles. He’s lost and worn out.”) The phrase “taily poe” can be drawn out to as long as the speaker wants and can be repeated as many times as they want. We also see the importance of performance in the way the speaker sometimes speaks as the character, seen in the dog bark sounds she makes and the “here boy, here boy.” All of these aspects draw the listener in and add to the ambiance of fear. People love to hear ghost stories and cryptid stories by the campfire, perhaps for a similar reason to why people love horror movies. They’re able to dabble in a bit of the emotion of fear while they’re actually in a safe, controlled environment surrounded by people they know and trust.

Boogeyman in the Basement (Legend)

Original Text: “Have you heard people be like ‘Oh watch out for the Boogeyman!’ or whatever? Yeah, I feel like that is a very common legend, but on my dad’s side of the family, they live in like Nowheresville, Michigan [informant made a joke but the actual place is Utica, Michigan] they were always like ‘Oh don’t go down in the basement, the Boogeyman is there right now!’ like, ‘Go down there tomorrow’. And they would do this with just about anything. They have a farm so they would be like ‘Don’t go in the barn, the Boogeyman is there!’ or something. It’s something I took very seriously, and if someone told me about the Boogeyman in the context of my hometown in Florida I would be like ‘Oh that’s not real’ but then there in Michigan I was like ‘Oh this is real, it exists here, in my uncle’s basement’. I feel like in my head I had a whole visualization of what this guy looked like and what he was doing, and when people would tell me the Boogeyman was around I would sit there for like an hour in my seat and be like ‘Oh my Lord the Boogeyman is coming! He’s gonna get us!’. And I think this was around when I was like 4ish years old, but it went on for a while until I got to the point where I was like ‘Nah there ain’t no Boogeyman, why can’t I go down in the basement?’ The narrative my family sold me around it was like ‘He’s gonna get you cuz he knows who we are and we are friends, but he doesn’t know you so’.”

Context: The informant is a college student at the University of Southern California. The informant is from Florida but has family in Michigan. She describes that the Boogeyman was used by her uncle’s family to deter her from something or not allow her to be in a space the adults did not want her in. All the adults were in on the story.

Analysis: As the informant stated, the Boogeyman was a figure used by the adults in her family to keep her out of spaces she wasn’t allowed in, like the basement. Because the story of the Boogeyman was coming from an adult audience that the informant trusted, it’s likely that the story carried more legitimacy, pointing as to why it had such an effect on her. The informant also reveals how she was convinced the Boogeyman could only exist on her farm in Michigan and not in her larger hometown in Florida. A rural area with lots of open space and a lack of population compared to her hometown in Florida potentially was a strange shift for the informant and caused her to be wary of the unknown she faced. In this case, it would be plausible for a creature like the Boogeyman to be hiding in a place not familiar to her. The separation between the knowledge of the Boogeyman between the informant as a child and her adult family also indicates the hierarchy and age politics that exist between the two groups. Only adults would understand the subtext behind the “Boogeyman”, including them in that folk group.

Herobrine (Minecraft Legend)

Original Text:

Informant: “In Minecraft, basically…well, Notch created Minecraft. And when he created Minecraft, there was this big thing that there was like a bug in the game and it created Herobrine, who was like an evil default avatar with white eyes. Herobrine would go into peoples Minecraft servers and kill them in Minecraft, and burn their buildings, and put lava everywhere. So then everyone was like have you seen Herobrine in your game? And people would lie and say ‘yeah Herobrine was in my game’, but it wasn’t possible for Herobrine to be in the pocket edition of Minecraft. Pocket edition is just Minecraft on your phone. It was only possible on the computer” [

Collector: Is it real?

Informant: “Probably not real, but…I was playing on pocket edition with my brother one time, we were just hanging out, and then I joined a new world and I randomly just get killed and I was like OMG ITS HEROBRINE! Herobine killed me! Im pretty sure I just accidentally walked back into lava and then burned alive but yeah. We all would tell our Herobrine stories. My brother and his friends said that they actually had a Herobrine war, like they were fighting him, I don’t think it was real, but yeah.”

Context: The informant in 18 years old and grew up in Orinda, California. He says that he was an avid player of Minecraft from 5th to 6th grade and it was cool to be really good at the game among his peers. His brother’s friends were especially good at the game, and he wanted to be able to play with them. The informant watched a lot of YouTube videos about Herobrine that further cemented his belief in the legend.

Analysis: The legend of Herobrine is obviously terminus post quem the invention of Minecraft (2011). The same way children tell ghost stories because they are unfamiliar with the concept of death, children like the informant and his friends would tell stories about Herobrine, who was a white-eyed scary version of the default Minecraft avatar. Just because there is a new digital age, doesn’t mean the typical types of legends from the past don’t resurface online. Little boys like the informant would naturally be intrigued by a scary, other-worldy version of their avatar with the desire to haunt and kill them. To add on, the invention of the internet and games is still very new, and people often make up stories like Herobrine to deal with the unknown factor they find eerie about the internet — like it perhaps having a mind of its own.

The Desk Fairy


LC: In my class, we do the desk fairy. So, she sometimes comes if your desk is really clean and she leaves you a treat. The, so what I do is not, I don’t do it regularly. I probably should do it more than I do. Um, but my students are in first grade, so they have some responsibility for their belongings. Um, they know that they need to, you know, keep their desk neat. They know if they don’t have a pencil that they can always get another one. But if you got one this morning, you really should be able to keep up with it for the day. Um, things like that. And our school specifically requires them to be ready, respectful, and responsible. That is our like mantra or whatever every day. And so one way that I teach responsibility is that you have to keep your desk clean. And so a few times a year, I probably should do it like monthly, but you get busy, you forget. But a few times a year I will go through, especially like maybe right before a day when we’re gonna be gone for a week or more. And I don’t want ants and things. Um, I will tell them to clean their desk out, like on a Friday or whatever. And then I go through after school. And if it’s clean enough to my standards where I feel like they can find everything, stuff’s not falling out of their desks, they don’t have trash in it. Then I give them a little treat. Sometimes it’s like this year it’s been little Smarties, you know? Um, they get that on a note that says that the desk fairy visited them. Um, and so it’s really fun to do it. Like the first time you do it, it’s really fun to have, like, almost everybody get one. Cause then they know what’s at stake. But then like as the year goes on, I might walk around the room and only, you know, six kids really have neat desks. And so they come in that morning and like those six kids are super pumped that the desk fairy visited them. But the other kids they’re like, Hmm. And some kids really don’t care and they’re like, my desk is gonna be a mess all the time. And then other kids they will actually clean their desk that day and hope the fairy will come right back and leave them something. So it’s just kind of a way to teach them to keep their space neat and just reward those that all always have their stuff together.

Me: Where did you get the idea for the desk fairy from?

LC: I think it originally, I think maybe I heard it from a, a colleague or a friend or I saw it like on Pinterest or something. Um, or Teachers Pay Teachers. The, the little note that I stick on it is from Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s like, it was a free resource that somebody posted. I know that it’s something that I had growing up. I think a couple of my teachers did it over the years.  

Background: LC has taught first grade in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia for seven years. She graduated from the same school district that she now works in. Teachers Pay Teachers is an educational resource sharing website. 

Context: This story was told to me over a phone call. Analysis: This immediately reminded me of another classroom tradition I collected, the leprechaun that visits on St. Patrick’s Day. However, I found it interesting that the Desk Fairy doesn’t have a specific time associated with her arrival. L said that the fairy often comes before a break, or when the classroom is getting particularly messy, but the continuation of the fairy tradition is ultimately up to the teacher.