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Kappa

by Micha F. Lindemans
Kappa

In Japanese Shinto-religion, they are water spirits who pull little children into the water and drown them, and attack and fight travelers. They also attack animals, including horses. They cannot live for long on the land, for they must always keep their heads wet. They have long hair, the body of a tortoise, scaly limbs, and an ape face. The Kappas feed themselves with cucumbers and blood, and use cucumbers to travel on them; these cucumbers fly like dragonflies. Kappas are very intelligent and can be propitiated by humans. They can be befriended by wise men to whom they will teach the art of setting bones. They may once have been wise monkeys.


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