A Kelpie is a Scottish water spirit with the ability to shape-shift and is often depicted with a horse head and dragon body.
The myths say that Kelpie preyed on and devoured humans. A folk tale from Barra, the Hebrides island where my mom’s family is from, there is a story about a lonely kelpie that transforms itself into a handsome young man to woo a pretty young girl. But the girl recognizes the young man as a kelpie and removes his silver necklace (his bridle) while he sleeps. The kelpie immediately reverts to its equine form, and the girl takes it home to her father’s farm,where it is put to work for a year. At the end of that time the girl the kelpie asks the girl whether, if he were a man, she would agree to be his wife. She confirms that she would, after which the kelpie chooses to become a mortal man, and the pair are married
Kelpie is not only a serpent horse but also a thriving tattoo shop in Keith, Scotland. I found the owner Culam Mc Williams on the internet and liked his work. We exchanged a few emails and he was able to fit me in for an appointment. Below is the finished piece.