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Iku Dekune

Today the postman delivered a small parcel. It was marked as having been sent from Prague. When I opened it, there was the most exquisite oil painting by Iku Dekune, one of the artists I had approached to produce a piece of work for the museum's collection. Iku lives and works in Prague and produces the most wonderful illustrative works, often based on Myths and Fairy stories. Iku decided to illustrate the tale of the Scottish Kelpie, a breed of water horse that enticed people, especially children, to ride on its back, then took them down to a watery grave where they would be devoured, except the heart and liver. The Kelpie would often appear as a lost pony but could be identified by its constantly dripping mane. Its skin is like that of a seal, smooth, but as cold as death when touched. Once a rider climbs onto its back the skin becomes adhesive. A common Scottish tale is the story of seven children lured onto a Kelpie's back, while the eighth keeps his distance. The eighth child simply strokes the Kelpie's nose, but when his finger becomes stuck to it he takes a knife from his pocket and cuts his own finger off. He saves himself, but is unable to help his friends as they are pulled underwater with the Kelpie. Commonly known as spirits of the dead, Kelpies are hardly benevolent creatures...

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