Galician Urco and Irish Púca

Cervexa Suevia in Villagarcía de Arosa, Galicia, Spain, no longer produces Urco, a dark strong ale. Perhaps the graphic label on the bottle scared off the drinkers.

The urco, from the Latin orcus meaning the Underworld, is a presage of death. The Irish púca, which is also an unusually large black dog with fiery red eyes, is casually accepted as a neighbourhood pet, except when it’s a warning of danger — a sort of presage of an avoidable death.

I’m in Viveiro in Galicia to tell Irish stories in schools, and I posted this picture here so I can conveniently show the students a definitive image of their native hellhound to accompany my tales of the púca, for which I don’t have any suitable illustrations.


About Richard Marsh

Bardic storyteller and author
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