|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic|
|Features||very entrancing laugh(to children)|
|First Appearance||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
The Erkling is an elfish creature, which has a particular affinity for the taste of children. Its high pitched cackle is entrancing to children, and it uses this to lure them away from their guardians to eat them. However, strict control by the German Ministry of Magic has greatly reduced the number of Erkling attacks. The last known Erkling attack was on a six-year-old called Bruno Schmidt. The Erkling in question was killed when Schmidt hit it over the head with his father's collapsible cauldron. These creatures also enjoy shooting darts at unsuspecting victims.
The name Erkling may have come from the English word irk, meaning to annoy. It also might be a variant of "erlking," an elfish creature in German mythology which has a fatal influence on children. The Erlking is featured prominently in "Der Erlkönig," a poem by Johann Wolfgang Goethe which was set to music by many composers, most notably Franz Schubert. Erlkönig literally means Alder King.