Today my nails are inspired by some Yule/Christmas folklore. This time the story originates from Iceland. The story of Jólakötturinn or the Yule Cat is basically that he will come and eat you if you haven’t received any new clothes before Christmas eve!
A variation to the story is Jólakötturinn eats the food of those who do not work hard. The new clothes rule still applies as it is how he differentiates whose food he devours.
Here is a translation of a poem about Jólakötturinn by Johannes Ur Kotlum.
You all know the Yule Cat
And that Cat was huge indeed.
People didn’t know where he came from
Or where he went.
He opened his glaring eyes wide,
The two of them glowing bright.
It took a really brave man
To look straight into them.
His whiskers, sharp as bristles,
His back arched up high.
And the claws of his hairy paws
Were a terrible sight.
He gave a wave of his strong tail,
He jumped and he clawed and he hissed.
Sometimes up in the valley,
Sometimes down by the shore.
He roamed at large, hungry and evil
In the freezing Yule snow.
In every home
People shuddered at his name.
If one heard a pitiful “meow”
Something evil would happen soon.
Everybody knew he hunted men
But didn’t care for mice.
He picked on the very poor
That no new garments got
For Yule – who toiled
And lived in dire need.
From them he took in one fell swoop
Their whole Yule dinner
Always eating it himself
If he possibly could.
Hence it was that the women
At their spinning wheels sat
Spinning a colorful thread
For a frock or a little sock.
Because you mustn’t let the Cat
Get hold of the little children.
They had to get something new to wear
From the grownups each year.
And when the lights came on, on Yule Eve
And the Cat peered in,
The little children stood rosy and proud
All dressed up in their new clothes.
Some had gotten an apron
And some had gotten shoes
Or something that was needed
– That was all it took.
For all who got something new to wear
Stayed out of that pussy-cat’s grasp
He then gave an awful hiss
But went on his way.
Whether he still exists I do not know.
But his visit would be in vain
If next time everybody
Got something new to wear.
Now you might be thinking of helping
Where help is needed most.
Perhaps you’ll find some children
That have nothing at all.
Perhaps searching for those
That live in a lightless world
Will give you a happy day
And a Merry, Merry Yule.
So if you need a reason to get some new clothes this makes a great excuse 😀
For my nails I used Poppy from Barry M for the background colour then A England Camelot to paint on the images. I used Moyou white stamping polish and my smallest dotting tool for the cat’s eye.
It took me ages to get the Yule cat looking just right, unfortunately I couldn’t fit him onto one nail!
Being eaten by an apex predator… Just what you need for Christmas oO
If you would like to find out a bit more about Jólakötturinn here are a few links 🙂
Yule Cat Wikipedia
Christmas Cat Of Iceland