The Measurer

Book of Hours, France. San Marino, Huntington Library ~ ca.1500 Thanx Gracie Collins on Pinterest

When the ground shakes like a cavalry charge but the accompanying noise is a bovine bellow rather than the shrieking of horses, you know that a Measurer is on the prowl.

These enormous undead, fully seven feet tall if they were ever to dismount from the jet black ox they ride, rampage across the countryside spearing any living person they meet. Each harpooned victim is pulled in & tested in the coffin the Measurer carries in its other hand. The slaughter goes on until one of the slain fits, at which point rider, mount & grisly prize all vanish in a gout of crimson flame & greasy smoke.

Where do they come from? Who makes the coffins? Do the coffins fit a certain person, or do the Measurers simply kill until one of the corpses has the right proportions? No one knows & all efforts to find out have ended very, very badly.

Baba Yaga & Her Fledglings

Eagles bring her tidings from the four corners of all nine worlds, ravens harry & peck at any who trespass in her clearing, her hut roams the taiga on chicken legs, but it still somehow comes as a surprise to people when they encounter Baba Yaga’s bird maidens.

‘Baba Yaga and maiden birds’ by Ivan Bilibin (1902).

Conventional wisdom has it that they’re what becomes of impertinent girls who fail to show Grandma Witch the respect she deserves. Those who know better know that some are escapees from brutal spouses or cruel families who prefer a life of semi-shape-changing as the enforcers, musical chorus & heralds of the Crone.