As we reach the penultimate day of Si Spurrier’s 13 Days of Myth-mas, Si brings us the myth of the Encantado, a Lothario dolphin plucked from the waters of the Amazon.
Click links for previous Days of Myth-mas:
On the First Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us… THE ZOMBIE.
On the Second Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE HORRIFYING PENANGGALAN.
On the Fourth Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
On the Sixth Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE BLACK HOUND.
On the Seventh Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE ANGELS OF MONS.
On the Eighth Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE KAPPA.
On the Ninth Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … OTTAR THE SIMPLE.
On the Tenth Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE UNICORN.
On the Eleventh Day of Myth-mas, Si Spurrier gave to us … THE COMPTE DE SAINT GERMAIN.
As we near the end of Si Spurrier’s 13 Days of Myth-mas, Si looks toward the waters of the Amazon Basin to bring us the tale of the Encantado…
By SI SPURRIER
Dolphins, eh? Those perpetually adored smiling sea-angels, beloved of fuzzy-minded cardigan-wearing Facebook addicts, wall-calendar photographers and ethical tuna-vores.
I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you – Truth is a harsh mistress – but your basic seagoing bottlenose is a violent bullying sexpest with a long record of gang rape (of females, males, other species, swimming humans; you name it). Google it if you don’t believe me, but be prepared to never look at that creepy fucking grin in the same light every again.
Thank heavens, then, for the pragmatic peoples of the Amazon Basin in Brazil, who inject a note of chilling realism into their crazy-ass bogeymen to bring us the despicable dudebro known as the Encantado.
Based on the boto Amazon river dolphin (which, if you can credit such a thing, has an even shiftier smile than its ocean-going cousins), the encantado is a nefarious water-spirit – discernible from normal dolphins by the fingers on the tips of its flippers (Peak! Creepiness!) – which likes to transform itself into a human overnight specifically to attend parties. It’s basically the magical apotheosis of a ratbag gatecrasher; arriving at a festa uninvited in an old-fashioned white suit and a swarthy 4 o’clock shadow, with a rakish straw hat pulled low in order to – seriously – hide the blowhole. So charismatic is this pale-faced interloper – singing, dancing, playing music, chatting the good chat – that women both single and attached, in a dream, will literally throw themselves at him. Which is precisely what he wants. The encantado is a right old nympho. As the folk-tale goes, he can often be encountered sprinting towards the river, hand-in-hand with his intended conquest, being chased by the entire mass of other partygoers who’re so under his spell that they don’t want him to leave.
To put this another way, the encantado is the monster equivalent of someone dropping roofies in the punch.
Those unfortunates who succumb to his seduction can hope – at best – for an exhausting night’s passion followed by a lifetime of inexplicable illnesses, or – at worst – disappearance, drowning and death. The most common outcome is an unwanted pregnancy. (One uncharitably wonders how many blush-faced young women have mollified their angry parents, when an unexpected bump starts to show, with an assurance that a dolphin did it.)
The kicker, for this skeeviest of monsters, is that the encantados are commonly believed to come from an underwater paradise full of happiness, health, wealth and free love. And yet so addicted is this forehead-breathing prick to the grime and squalor of human life that he’ll sneak off every night for what amounts to A Bit Of Strange with an unsuspecting human girl.
NEXT: THE ZEITGEIST.