Mahwot

Variations: Mahwot’, Mawhot’

The Mahwot is a monstrous creature that makes its home in the Meuse River snaking through the Ardennes. A lizard-like amphibious monster the size of a calf, it runs back and forth on the bottom of the river from Revin to Liège and back. It has been sighted at Revin and Givet on a July night in 1870.

Its primary purpose lies in keeping children away from the water. As an aquatic bogey, it will not hesitate to pull in and devour any child foolish enough to play too near the Meuse.

The mahwot rarely leaves the water. Its appearance on land is believed to be a bad omen, presaging death, war, or pestilence. More importantly, it will haul itself onto land at the beck and call of angry mothers to eat naughty children. As the warning in the local dialect goes, “V’la le Mahwot, si tu n’ti tais nai, d’ji vas t’fouaire mandjie!” (“here’s the mahwot, if you don’t shut up right now, I’ll have you eaten!”). The phrase is effective.

References

Lambot, J. (1987) L’Ardenne. Pierre Mardaga, Brussels.

Meyrac, A. (1890) Traditions, coutumes, légendes et contes des Ardennes. Petit Ardennais, Charleville.

14 Comments

  1. The bit it says in the dialect sounds like a hilarious caricature of modern day French, it made me laugh. XD I love the somewhat leafy design on its back! Reminiscent of frogfish or octopi, bottom-dwellers designed for camouflage, perfect for something that spends its time at the bottom of a muddy river! Either way, its great to know there’s a river to send naughty children to to be drowned! x)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you know, I’ve been looking at the French dragon creatures posted here and I gotta say I vibe with all of them. They arn’t bad or good. They’re just ok and appreciable where you can look at them and say “ay this is very dragon of this” and I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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