The Cuélebre

The Cuélebre

Picos de Europa.The Cuélebre is a giant winged Spanish variety of dragon, specifically, from the regions of Asturias and Cantabria.

They are of Asturian and Cantabrian heritage and live in caves, guard treasures, and keep xanas as prisoners. Although they are immortal, they grow old eventually and their scales become thick and impenetrable, and bat wings grow from their bodies. They seldom move; when they do it, it is  to eat cattle and people.

One can kill the cuélebre giving him as meal a red-hot stone or a bread full of pins. Its spit it is said to turn into a magic stone which heals many diseases.

Serpentine, winged and with colorful scales, the Cuélebre are obsessed with pretty, shiny objects. They hoard treasure and fairy-like blonde nymphs. The legend relating how the Cuélebre originated is:

A beautiful but vain young woman disbelieves her family’s warnings against combing her hair as she admires her reflection in a pool of water. Unfortunately, a powerful water nymph living in the pool observes as she neglects her tasks in favor of this activity. Once the girl ruffles the surface of the water, as one of her hairs drops in, the nymph takes the opportunity to teach her a lesson. The nymph curses the girl; she grows huge, her hair is replaced by crests and her skin by scales, and she sprouts wings. In true fairytale fashion the maiden can only be returned to her original state by meeting a knight “who is so brave that he is not afraid of you and has a heart so pure that he finds you beautiful.” The Cuélebre hides in a cave by the sea and waits…

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