It’s a common misconception that kelpies of Scottish myth were horses. They are always horses in popular media. Those shapeshifters emerging black-maned from rivers and lochs to lure unwary humans to a nightmarish end being devoured amongst the weeds in the dark depths.
When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord
An’ float the jinglin icy boord
Then, water-kelpies haunt the foord
By your direction
An’ nighted trav’llers are allur’d
To their destruction.
But kelpies weren’t always horses. They could be any animal that might founder in a way that would bring the unwary human to the water. If you can’t catch a man by inducing him to ride you, then why not be more antlion about it and get him to come to you?
Calves, sheep, goats.
At about 20s you can see where the fins used for swimming turn back into legs. I filmed this standing next to my significant other and our very excitable derpwolf, but this “deer” seems quite nonchalant about it. When I looked down, I found a line of hoofprints leading into the water.
I wonder if they were noticeably deeper than the ones the animal made on the way out.