Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Friday, 1st August 2008


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ANOTHER left-handed drawing: a recently lopped ornamental cherry tree seen through a window but the Fiffle-Triggy (right and drawn right-handedly) or fiffle-trig is something you’re not likely to see; it was a species of scary creature that my dad would occasionally invoke. I suspect it was something he’d read about in a fantasy novel many years before, but perhaps he just invented it. This was the way I pictured it, although the really scary thing about the fiffle-triggy was that it was an unseen, unspecified menace, so a man dressed as a tree doesn’t equate with its scariness.


I assume that the ‘fiffle’ part of the name is onomatopoeic and if you were walking down an overgrown country lane late on a balmy summer evening the first you’d know of its approach would be the ‘fiffling’ of its foliage, which might resemble pendulous horsetails or long, feathery, spiky grasses. I take it that the ‘triggy’ part of the name relates to snags or triggers that entrap and engulf the unwary.


It’s evidently a cousin of John Wnydham’s Triffid.


Overprinted Black: I drew the fiffle-trig for an experimental illustration; see next page.


Drawn with a dip pen and Indian ink with black areas in Pentel Brush Pen.