You can’t be blamed for mistaking the African Mbulu for a human at first glance–but it’ll be a costly mistake. Look closely at this amphibian river species and you’ll note the scaly skin and the prehensile tail. And you just might pick up the fact that there’s a mouth full of teeth at the end of that tail.
The Mbulu doesn’t have control over that tail, in fact. It has a will of its own, and is always, always hungry.
That’s how a clever girl once defeated an Mbulu who stole her clothes and her identity. She dug a hole and poured in some milk. Every person in the village agreed to jump over the puddle, but when the Mbulu did it, the tail popped out from under her dress to lap up the milk. On seeing this, the villagers recognized they had an Mbulu and killed the monster.
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits
by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack