Today I want to tell you a bit about the Alp Luachra, also spelt Alp-luachra or Alpluachra, and also known as a Joint-eater or Just-halver. This is an evil and greedy fairy from Irish mythology that seems to be always lurking for food through humans.
When a person falls asleep by the side of a spring or stream, the Alp-luachra appears in the form of a newt and crawls down the person's mouth, feeding off the food that they had eaten. According to Robert Kirk's "Secret Commonwealth of Fairies", this creature feeds not on the food itself, but on the "pith or quintessence" of the food. Another famous occurrence is in Douglas Hyde's "Beside the Fire", which tells of how a person got back at an Alp-luachra by eating large amounts of salted meat and sleeping near the stream. The Alp-luachra fed upon him, but jumped to the water in thirst.
Next time you fall asleep next to a strem and wake up with a nasty or strange taste in your mouth, blame the Alp-luachra, not your lack of teeth brushing!