The Mystery of the Beast
Black Mountain’s symbolic beast, the Louglier, came from the fertile imagination of the four partners. It was then brought to life by the skilful pencil of Jean-Claude Pertuzé, a highly talented illustrator and designer from Gascony. An enthusiast for Occitan history and culture, Jean-Claude developed an affectionate interest in this unusual beast and started to imagine its origins… Here’s the outcome:
The Louglier is universally described as a hybrid, part wolf and part boar. An impossibility, the naturalists may argue, but no-one is asking for their opinion. Descriptions of the beast’s appearance agree that it is a huge wolf with a rough, spiky coat and a long thick tail but with a snout-like nose and in particular, two teeth protruding on each side of its jaw, like a boar’s tusks, with a massive, stocky body. The Louglier attacks its victims by lunging at them, striking them down with its snout and then tearing into them with its powerful jaws.
The Louglier is always referred to in the singular, as if it were a unique and from a certain point of view, immortal creature. The few sightings never refer to a young, old or female beast. No carcass has ever been found, or any remains such as hair, bones or teeth. In brief, everything points to a fantastic, purely mythical creature.
The very name Louglier may raise a smile; it is clearly a portmanteau word made by combining “loup” (wolf) and “sanglier” (boar) and seems to be a modern invention. Nonetheless, old sightings refer to the “langue d’oc” (the local dialect) word louglar, which is thought to mean “solitary pig”. “Louglier” could therefore simply be the French version of the old Occitan Loup-Glar.
While memories of this much-feared wild animal are beginning to fade, they still remain more or less unconsciously, though are generally not taken seriously.
Sources on the presence of the Louglier in the Black Mountain are rare and mainly oral. There are tales of terrible deeds committed by the beast, with a young shepherdess in the 17th century, and a woman walking through the forest at the end of the 18th century, allegedly killed and devoured by it, but the locations are vague and no names are mentioned. Elsewhere, there are various accounts that say the Louglier has been spotted in different places. It is clearly a pity that no research of any rigour has been carried out by qualified researchers.
Reading the text, you cannot help but admire Jean-Claude’s rich imagination. Unless it had less to do with the above and more with the fruits of his actual research?