Useless Magic Lyrics and Poetry. Mind Platter. The Nectar of Pain.
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Missing Christopher A mother's story of tragedy, grief and love. Ariel Faber Poetry. Life Force. The Martian Chronicles. Paradise Lost Penguin Classics. Item Added: Brownies and Bogles. View Wishlist. Our Awards Booktopia's Charities. He objected to any chopping or spinning done on a Thursday. Change of servants, while he held his throne in the kitchen, affected him not in the least; for the maid going away recommended her successor to treat him civilly, at her peril. Keightley's Fairy Mythology.
A certain bearded little Kobold lived with some fishermen in a hut, and tried a trick which was quite classic, and reminds one of the Greek story of Procrustes, which all of you have met with, or will meet with, some day. Says Mr. Benjamin Thorpe: "His chief amusement, when the fishermen were lying asleep at night, was to lay them even. For this purpose he would first draw them up until their heads all lay in a straight line, but then their legs would be out of the line!
This game he would continue till broad daylight. Now all Brownies, Nissen, Kobolds and the rest, were very much of a piece, and when you know the virtues and faults of one of them, you know the habits of the race. So that you can understand, despite the slight but steady help given in household matters, that a person so variable and exacting and high-tempered as this curious little sprite might happen sometimes to be a great bore, and might inspire his master or mistress with the sighing wish to be rid of him.
It was a  tradition in Normandy that to shake off the Lutin or Gobelin, it was merely necessary to scatter flax-seed where he was wont to pass; for he was too neat to let it lie there, and yet tired so soon of picking it up, that he left it in disgust, and went away for good. And there was a sprite named Flerus who lived in a farm-house near Ostend, and worked so hard, sweeping and drawing water, and turning himself into a plough-horse that he might replace the old horse who was sick, for no reward, either, save a little fresh sugared milk—that soon his master was the wealthiest man in the neighborhood.
But a giddy young servant-maid once offended him, at the day's end, by giving him garlic in his milk; and as soon as poor Flerus tasted it, he departed, very wrathful and hurt, from the premises, forever. There were few such successful instances on record. Though Brownie was ready, in every land under the sun, to leave home when he took the fancy, or when he was puffed up with gifts of lace and velvet, so that no mortal residence was gorgeous enough for him, yet he would take no  hint, nor obey any command, when either pointed to a banishment.
The morning before he meant to change quarters, he saw his Kobold sitting by a pool, and asked him what he was doing. The same thing happened in the capital Polish anecdote of Iskrzycki make your respects to his excruciating name! There is many and many an example of families selling the old house, and going off in great glee with the furniture, thinking the elf-rascal cheated and left behind; and lo!
The funniest hap of all befell an ungrateful farmer who fired his barn to burn the poor Kobold in it. As he was driving off, he turned to look at the blaze, and what should he see on the seat behind him but the same excited Kobold, chattering, monkey-like, and shrieking sympathizingly: "It was about time for us to get out of that, wasn't it? The dark-skinned little house-sprites came to stay; and as for being snubbed, they were quite  above it.
They were the sort of callers to whom you could never show the door, with any dignity; for if you had done so, the grinning goblin would have examined knob and panels with a squinted eye, and gone back whistling to your easy-chair. The Swedish pair offered presents to those on shore, or passing in boats, in hopes to sink them beneath the waves. England and Ireland had no water-sprites which answered to the Nix and the Kelpie, only the Merrow, who was a Mermaid.
She was a fair woman, with white, webbed fingers. She carried upon her head a little diving-cap, and when she came up to the rocks or the beach, she laid it by; but if it were stolen from her, she lost the power of returning to the sea. So that if her cap were taken by a young man, she very often could do nothing better than to marry him, and spend her time hunting for it up and down over his house. And once she had found it, she forgot all else but her desire to go home to "the kind sea-caves," and despite the calling of her neighbors and husband and children, she flitted to the shore, and plunged into the first oncoming billow, and walked the earth no longer.
Tales of these spirit-brides who suddenly deserted  the green earth for their dear native waters, are common in Arabian and European folk-lore. And this characteristic was noted also in the Sea-trows of the Shetland Islands, who divested themselves of a shining fish-skin, and could not find the way to their ocean-beds if it were kept out of their reach. It was the Danish sailor's belief that seals laid by their skins every ninth night, and took maiden's forms wherewith to sport and sleep on the reefs. And for their capture as they were, warm,  living and human, one had only to snatch and hide away their talisman-skin.
The strange German Water-man wore a green hat, and when he opened his mouth, his teeth as well were green; he appeared to girls who passed his lake, and measured out ribbon, and flung it to them.
The little water-fairies who devoted themselves to drawing under whomsoever encroached on their pools and brooks, were called Nixies in Germany, Korrigans for this was part of their office in Brittainy; Ondins about Magdebourg, and Roussalkis, the long-haired, smiling ones, among the Slavic people. The engaging Nixies were very minute and mischievous, and abounded in the Shetland Isles and Cornwall, as did, moreover, the Kelpies, who were like tiny horses, known even in China; sporting on the margin, and foreboding death by drowning, to any who beheld them; or tempting passers-by to mount, and plunging, with their victims, headlong  into the deep.
The Nix-lady was recognized when she came on shore by the edges of her dress or apron being perpetually wet. The dark-eyed Nix-man with his seaweed hair and his wide hat, was known by his slit ears and feet, which he was very careful to conceal. Once in a while he was observed to be half-fish. The naked Nixen were draped with moss and kelp; but when they were clothed, they seemed merely little men and women, save that the borders of their garments, dripping water, betrayed them. They did their marketing ashore, wheresoever they were, and, according to  all accounts, with a sharp eye to economy.
Like the land-elves, they loved to dance and sing. Nix did not favor divers, fishermen, and other intruders on his territory, and he did his best to harm them.
He was altogether a fierce, grudging, covetous little creature. His comelier wife was much better-natured, and befriended human beings to the utmost of her power. Near Ghent was a little old Nix who lived in the Scheldt; he cried and sighed much, and did mischief to no one. It grieved him when children ran away from him, yet if they asked what troubled his conscience, he only sighed heavily, and disappeared. The modern Greeks believed in a black sprite haunting wells and springs, who was fond of beckoning to strangers. If they came to him, he bestowed gifts upon them; if not, he never seemed angry, but turned patiently to wait for the next passer-by.
There was a curious sea-creature in Norway, who swam about as a thin little old man with no head. His favorite game was to astonish the fishers, by hauling their boats up among the trees. At Arles and other towns near the Spanish border in France, were the Dracs, who inhabited clear pools and streams, and floated along in the shape of gold rings and cups, so that women and children bathing should grasp them, and be lured under. The Indian water-manittos, the Nibanaba, were winning in appearance, and wicked in disposition.
They, joining the Pukwudjinies, helped to kill Kwasind. In Wales were the Gwragedd Annwn, elves who loved the stillness of lonely mountain-lakes, and  who seldom ventured into the upper world. They had their own submerged towns and battlements; and from their little sunken city the fairy-bells sent out, ever and anon, muffled silver voices. The Gwragedd Annwn were not fishy-finned, nor were they ever dwellers in the sea; for in Wales were no mermaid-traditions, nor any tales of those who beguiled mortals—.
Either appeared under various shapes; now as a green-hatted old man with a long beard, out of which he wrung water as he sat on the cliffs; now loitering of a summer night on the surface, like a chip of wood or a leaf, he seemed a fair child, harping, with yellow ringlets falling from beneath a high red cap to his shoulders. Now, to ten of them any one might dance decorously, and with safety; but  at the eleventh, which was the enchanted one, all the world went mad; and tables, belfries, benches, houses, windmills, trees, horses, cripples, babies, ghosts, and whole towns full of sedate citizens began capering on the banks about the invisible player, and kept it up in furious fashion until the last note died away.
You know that the wren was hunted in certain countries on a certain day. Well, here is one legend about her. There was a malicious fairy once in the Isle of Man, very winsome to look at, who worked a sorry Kelpie-trick, on the young men of the town, and inveigled them into the sea, where they perished. At last the inhabitants rose in vengeance, and suspecting her of causing their loss and sorrow, gave her chase so hard and fast by land, that to save herself, she changed her shape into that of an innocent brown wren.
And because she had been so treacherous, a spell was cast upon her, inasmuch as she was obliged every New Year's Day to fly about as that same bird, until she should be killed by a human hand. And from sunrise to sunset, therefore, on the first bleak day of January,  all the men and boys of the island fired at the poor wrens, and stoned them, and entrapped them, in the hope of reaching the one guilty fairy among them. And as they could never be sure that they had captured the right one, they kept on year by year, chasing and persecuting the whole flock.
But every dead wren's feather they preserved carefully, and believed that it hindered them from drowning and shipwreck for that twelvemonth; and they took the feathers with them on voyages great and small, in order that the bad fairy's magic may never be able to prevail, as it had prevailed of yore with their unhappy brothers. The presence of the sea-fairies had a terror in it, and against their arts only the strongest and most watchful could hope to be victorious.
Their sport was to desolate peaceful homes, and bring destruction on gallant ships. They, dwelling in streams and in the ocean, the world over, were like the waters they loved: gracious and noble in aspect, and meaning danger and death to the unwary. We fear that, like the earth-fairies, they were heartless quite. But it may be that the gentle Nixies had only a blind longing for human society, and would not willingly have wrought harm to the creatures of another element. We are more willing to urge excuses for their wrong-doing than for the like fault in our frowzly under-ground folk; for ugliness seems, somehow, not so shocking when allied with evil as does beauty, which was destined for all men's delight and uplifting.
As the air-elves had their Fairyland whither mortal children wandered, and whence they returned after an unmeasured  lapse of time, still children, to the ivy-grown ruins of their homes, so the water-elves had a reward for those they snatched from earth; and legends assure us the wave-rocked prisoners a hundred fathoms down, never grew old, but kept the flush of their last morning rosy ever on their brows. Among a little community full of guile, there is great comfort in spotting one honest, kind water-boy, who, not content with being harmless, as were the Flemish and Grecian Nixies, put himself to work to do good, and charm away some of the worries and ills that burdened the upper world.
His name was Hob, and he lived in Hobhole, which was a cave scooped out by the beating tides in old Northumbria. The lean pockets of the neighboring doctors were partly attributed to this benignant little person; for he set up an opposition, and his specialty was the cure of whooping-cough. Many a Scotch mother took her lad or lass to the spray-covered mouth of the wise goblin's cave, and sang in a low voice:.
And so he did, sitting there with his toes in the sea. For Hobhole Hob's small sake, we can afford to part friends with the whole naughty race of water-folk. Very often quarrelsome, disobedient or vicious  folk fell into the snare of a Kelpie, or a Will-o'-the-Wisp; for the little whipper-snappers had a fine eye for poetical justice, and dealt out punishments with the nicest discrimination. We never hear that they troubled good, steady mortals; but only that sometimes they beguiled them, for sheer love, into Fairyland. We know that all "ouphes and elves" could change their shapes at will; therefore when we spy fairy-horses, fairy-lambs, and such quadrupeds, we guess at once that they are only roguish small gentlemen masquerading.
Never for the innocent fun of it, either; but alas! In Hampshire, in England, was a spirit known as Coltpixy, which, itself shaped like a miniature neighing horse, beguiled other horses into bogs and morasses. The Irish Pooka or Phooka was a horse too, and a famous rascal. He lived on land, and was something like the Welsh Gwyll: a tiny, black, wicked-faced wild colt, with chains dangling about him.
Again, he frisked around in the shape of a goat or a bat. Spenser has him:. Kelpies, who were Scotch, haunted fords and ferries, especially in storms; allured bystanders into the water, or swelled the river so that it broke the roads, and overwhelmed travellers. Very like them were the Brag, the little Shoopil-tree  of the Shetland Islands, and the Nick, who was the Icelandic Nykkur-horse; gamesome deceivers all, who enticed children and others to bestride them, and who were treacherous as a quicksand, every time.
And there were many more of the Kelpie kingdom, of whom we can hunt up no clews. A man who saw a Kelpie gave himself up for lost; for he was sure, by hook or crook, to meet his death by drowning. Kelpie, familiar so far away as China, never stayed in the next-door countries, Ireland or England, long enough to be recognized.
They knew nothing of him by sight, nor of the Nix his cousin, nor of anything resembling them. In Ireland lived the merrow; but she was only an amiable mermaid. The Japanese had a water-dragon called Kappa, "whose office it was to swallow bad boys who went to swim in disobedience to their parents' commands, and at improper times and places. But we know already that the water-sprites were more than likely so to behave. In Provence there is a tale told of seven little boys who went out at night against their grandmother's wishes.
A little dark pony came prancing up to them, and the youngest clambered on his sleek back, and after him, the whole seven, one after the other, which was quite a wonderful weight for the wee creature; but his back meanwhile kept growing longer and larger to accommodate them. As they galloped along, the children called such of their playmates as were out of doors, to join them, the obliging nag stretching and stretching until thirty pairs of young legs dangled at his sides!
The Piskies, or Pigseys, of Cornwall, were naughty and unsociable. Their great trick was to entice people into marshes, by making themselves look like a light held in a man's hand, or a light in a friendly cottage window. Pisky also   rode the farmers' colts hard, and chased the farmers' cows. For all his diabolics, you had to excuse him in part, when you heard his hearty fearless laugh; it was so merry and sweet. The Barguest of Yorkshire, like the Osschaert of the Netherlands, was an open-air bugaboo whose presence always portended disaster. Sometimes he appeared as a horse or dog, merely to play the old trick with a false light, and to vanish, laughing.
Over in Flanders and Brabant was one Kludde, a fellow whisking here and there as a half-starved little mare, or a cat, or a frog, or a bat; but who was always accompanied by two dancing blue flames, and who could overtake any one as swiftly as a snake. The Ellydan dan is a Welsh word meaning fire, and also a lure or a snare: a luring elf-fire was a rogue with wings, wide ears, a tall cap and two huge torches, who precisely resembled the English Will-o'-the-Wisp, the Scandinavian  Lyktgubhe and the Breton Sand Yan y Tad.
Our American negroes make him out Jack-muh-Lantern: a vast, hairy, goggle-eyed, big-mouthed ogre, leaping like a giant grasshopper, and forcing his victims into a swamp, where they died. The gentlemen of this tribe preferred to walk abroad at night, like any other torchlight procession. Their little bodies were invisible, and the traveller who hurried towards the pleasant lamp ahead, never knew that he was being tricked by a grinning fairy, until he stumbled on the brink of a precipice, or found himself knee-deep in a bog.
Then the brazen little guide shouted outright with glee, put out his mysterious flame, and somersaulted off, leaving the poor tourist to help himself. The only way to escape his arts was to turn your coat inside out. You may guess that the ungodly wights had plenty of fun in them, by this anecdote: A great many Scotch Jack-o'-Lanterns, as they are often called, were once bothering the horse belonging to a clergyman, who with his servant, was returning home late at night.
The horse reared and whinnied,  and the clergyman was alarmed, for a thousand impish fires were waltzing before the wheels. Like a good man, he began to pray aloud, to no avail. But the servant just roared: "Wull ye be aff noo, in the deil's name! There were some freakish fairies in old England, whose names were Puckerel, Hob Howland, Bygorn, Bogleboe, Rawhead or Bloodybones; the last two were certainly scarers of nurseries.
The Boggart was a little spectre who haunted farms and houses, like Brownie or Nis; but he was usually a sorry busybody, tearing the bed-curtains,  rattling the doors, whistling through the keyholes, snatching his bread-and-butter from the baby, playing pranks upon the servants, and doing all manner of mischief. The Dunnie, in Northumberland, was fond of annoying farmers.
When night came, he gave them and himself a rest, and hung his long legs over the crags, whistling and banging his idle heels. Red Comb or Bloody Cap was a tyrant who lived in every Border castle, dungeon and tower.
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He was short and thickset long-toothed and skinny-fingered, with big red eyes, grisly flowing hair, and iron boots; a pikestaff in his left hand, and a red cap on his ugly head. The village of Hedley, near Ebchester, in England, was haunted by a churlish imp known far and wide as the Hedley Gow. He took the form of a cow, and amused himself at milking-time with kicking over the pails, scaring the maids, and calling the cats, of whom he was fond, to lick up the cream. Then he slipped the ropes and vanished, with a great laugh. In Northern Germany we find the Hedley Gow's next-of-kin, and there, too, were little underground beings who accompanied maids and men to the milking, and drank up what was spilt; but if nothing happened to be spilt in measuring out the quarts, they got angry, overturned the pails, and ran away.
These jackanapes were a foot and a half high, and dressed in black, with red caps. Many ominous fairies, such as the Banshee, portended misfortune and death. The Banshee had a high shrill voice, and long hair. Once in a while she seemed to be as tall as an ordinary woman, very thin, with head uncovered, and a floating white cloak, wringing her hands and wailing. She attached herself only to certain ancient  Irish families, and cried under their windows when one of their race was sick, and doomed to die.
But she scorned families who had a dash of Saxon and Norman ancestry, and would have nothing to do with them. Every single fairy that ever was known to the annals of this world was, at times, a mischief-maker. He could no more keep out of mischief than a trout out of water. What lives the dandiprats led our poor great-great-great-great grand-sires! As a very clever living writer put it:. He could not approach a stream in safety unless he closed his ears to the sirens' songs, and his eyes to the fair form of the mermaid. In the hillside were the dwarfs, in the forest Queen Mab and her court.
Brownie ruled over him in his house, and Robin Goodfellow in his walks and wanderings. From the moment a Christian came into the world until his departure therefrom, he was at the mercy of the fairy-folk, and his devices to elude them were many. Unhappy was the mother who neglected to lay a pair of scissors or of tongs, a knife or her husband's breeches, in the cradle of her new-born infant; for if she forgot, then was she sure to receive a changeling in its place.
Great was the loss of the child to whose baptism the fairies were not invited, or the bride to whose wedding  the Nix, or water-spirit, was not bidden. If the inhabitants of Thale did not throw a black cock annually into the Bode, one of them was claimed as his lawful victim by the Nickelmann dwelling in that stream.
The Russian peasant who failed to present the Rusalka or water-sprite he met at Whitsuntide, with a handkerchief, or a piece torn from his or her clothing, was doomed to death. One had to be ever on the lookout to escape the sharp little immortals, whose very kindness to men and women was a species of coquetry, and who never spared their friends' feelings at the expense of their own saucy delight. The very old word Pouke meant the devil, horns, tail, and all; from that word, as it grew more human and serviceable, came the Pixy of Devonshire, the Irish Phooka, the Scottish Bogle, and the Boggart in Yorkshire; and even one nursery-tale title of Bugaboo.
Oddest of all, the name Pug, which we give now to an amusing race of small dogs, is an every-day reminder of poor lost Puck, and of the queer changes which, through a century or two, may befall a word. Puck was considered court-jester, a mild, comic, playful creature:. Shakespeare, who calls him a "merry wanderer of the night," and allows him to fly "swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow," was the first to make Puck into a house spirit.
The poets were especially attentive to the offices of these house-spirits. According to them, Mab and Puck do everything in-doors which we think characteristic of a Brownie. William Browne, born in Tavistock, in the county of Devon, where the Pixies lived, prettily puts it how the fairy-queen did  —. John Lyly, in his very beautiful Mayde's Metamorphosis has this charming fairy song, which takes us out to the grass, and the soft night air, and the softer starshine:.
What a picture of the wee tribe at their revels! Here is another, from Ben Jonson's Sad Shepherd :. In what is thought to be Lyly's play, just mentioned, Mopso, Joculo, and Prisio have something in the way of a pun for each fairy they address:. Keightley says that the Crickets were a family of great note in Fairyland: many poets celebrated them. Drayton, again, gives us a list of tinkling elfin-ladies' names, which are pleasant to hear as the drip of an icicle:. Young Randolph has an equally delightful account in the pastoral drama of Amyntas , of his wee folk orchard-robbing; whose chorused Latin Leigh Hunt thus translates, roguishly enough:.
You will notice that Shakespeare places his Gothic goblins in the woods about Athens, a place where real fairies never set their rose-leaf feet, but where once sported yet lovelier Dryads and Naiads. These dainty British Greeks are very small indeed: Titania orders them to make war on the rear-mice, and make coats of their leathern wings. Mercutio's Queen Mab is scarce bigger than a snowflake.
Prospero, in The Tempest , commands, besides his "delicate Ariel," all. The make-believe fairies in The Merry Wives know how to pinch offenders black and blue. The shepherd, in the Winter's Tale , takes the baby Perdita for a changeling. So that all the Shakespeare people seem wise in goblin-lore.
You see that we have looked for the literature of our pretty friends only among the old poets, and only English poets at that; but the foreign fairies are no less charming. Chaucer and Spenser loved the brood especially.
Robert Herrick knew all about. And they crept cautiously to many a cradle, and having secured the sleeping innocent, "plucked the nodding nurse by the nose," as Ben Jonson said, and vanished with a scream of triumphant laughter. Welsh fairies have been caught in the very act of the theft, and a pretty  fight they made, every time, to keep their booty; but the strength of a man or a woman, was, of course, too much for them to resist long.
Now, whenever a mother, who, you may count upon it, thought her own urchin most beautiful of all under the moon, found him growing cross and homely, in despite of herself, she suddenly awoke to this view of the case: that the dwindled babe was her babe no longer, but a miserable young gosling from Fairyland slipped into its place.
A miserable young foreign gosling it was from that hour, though it had her own grandfather's special kind of a nose on its unmistakable face. The discovery always made a great sensation; people came from the surrounding villages to wonder at the lean, gaping, knowing-eyed small stranger in the crib, and to propose all sorts of charms which should rid the house of his presence, and restore the rightful heir again.
Brownies and Bogles
They were not especially polite to the poor changeling. In Denmark, and in Ireland as well, they dandled him on a hot shovel! If he were really a changeling, the fairies, rather than see him singed, were  sure to appear in a violent fluster and whisk him away, and at the same minute to drop its former owner plump into the cradle. And if it were not a changeling, how did those queer by-gone mammas know when to stop the broiling and baking?
George Waldron, who in wrote an entertaining Description of the Isle of Man , recorded it that he once went to see a baby supposed to be a changeling; that it seemed to be four or five years old, but smaller than an infant of six months, pale, and silky-haired, and what was unusual with the fairest face under heaven; that it was not able to walk nor to move a joint, seldom smiled, ate scarcely anything, and never spoke nor cried; but that if you called it a fairy-elf, it fixed its gaze on you as if it would look you through.
If it were left alone, it was overheard laughing and frolicking, and when it was taken up after, limp as cloth, its hair was found prettily combed, and there were signs that it had been washed and dressed by its unseen playfellows. The main point to put the family mind at rest  on the matter, was to make the changeling "own up," force him to do something which no tender mortal in socks and bibs ever was able to do, such as dance, prophesy, or manage a musical instrument.
There was an Irish changeling, the youngest of five sons, who, being teased, snatched a bagpipe from a visitor, and played upon it in the most accomplished and melting manner, sitting up in his wooden chair, his big goggle-eyes fixed on the company. The Welsh fairies had good taste, and admired wholesome and handsome children. They stole such often, and left for substitute the plentyn-newid  the change-child who at first was exactly like the absent nursling, but soon grew ugly, shrivelled, biting, wailing, cunning and ill-tempered.
In the hope of proving whether it were a fairy-waif or not, people put the little creature to such hard tests, that sometimes it nearly died of acquaintance with a rod, or an oven, or a well. If the bereaved parent did some very astonishing thing in plain view of the wonder-chick, that would generally entrap it into betraying its secrets. A French changeling was once moved unawares to sing out that it was nine hundred years old, at least! In Wales, and also in Brittainy which are sister-countries of one race the following story is current: A mother whose infant had been spirited away, and who was much perplexed over what she took to be a changeling, was advised to cook a meal for ten farm-servants in one egg-shell.
When the queer little creature, burning with curiosity, asked her from his high-chair what she was about, she could hardly answer, so excited was she to hear him speak. At that he cried louder: "A meal for ten, dear mother, in one egg-shell? The acorn before the oak have I seen, and the wilderness before the lawn, but never did I behold anything like that! And the woman replied: "You have seen altogether too much, my son, and you shall have a beating! Now the "gentry" of modern Greece had an eye also to clever children; but they almost always brought them back, laden with gifts, lovelier in person than when they were taken from home.
And if they appointed a changeling in the meantime which they were not very apt to do it never showed its elfin nature until it was quite grown up! The Drows of the Orkney Islands fancied larger game. They used to stalk in among church congregations and carry off pious deacons and deaconesses! In a pretty Scotch tale, a sly fairy threatened to steal the "lad bairn," unless the mother could tell the fairy's right name.
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The latter was a complete stranger, and the woman was sore worried; and went to walk in the woods to ease her anxious and aching heart, and to think over some means of outwitting the enemy of her boy. And presently she heard a faint voice singing under a leaf:. Fairy-folk young and old were coquettish enough  about their names, and greatly preferred they should not be spoken outright.
This habit got them into many a scrape. The anecdote of "Who hurt you? Do you remember where Ulysses tells the Cyclop that his name is Outis, which means Nobody? A young Scotch child, whom we will call Alan, sits by the fire, when a pretty creature the size of a doll, waltzes down the chimney to the hearth, and begins to frolic. When asked its name it says shrewdly: "Ainsel"; which to the boy sounds like what it really is, "Ownself," and makes him,  when it is his turn to be questioned, as saucy and reticent as he supposes his elfin playfellow to be.
So Alan tells the sprite that his name is " My Ainsel," and gets the better of it. For bye-and-bye they wax very frisky and friendly, and right in the middle of their sport, when little Alan pokes the fire, and gets a spark by chance on Ainsel's foot, and when he roars with pain, and the old fairy-mother appears instantly, crying angrily: "Who has hurt thee? Who has hurt thee?
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Alan, meanwhile, climbs upstairs to bed, rejoicing to escape the vengeance of the fairy-mother, and chuckling in his sleeve at the funny turn things have taken. Gitto Bach little Griffith was a Welsh farmer's boy, who looked after sheep on the mountain-top. When he came home at evenfall he often showed his brothers and sisters bits of paper stamped like money. Now when it was given to him, it was real money; but the fairy-gifts would not bear handling, and turned useless and limp as soon as Gitto showed them. One day he did not return. After two years his mother found him one morning at the door, smiling, and with a bundle under his arm.
She asked him, with many tears, where he had been so long, while they had mourned for him as dead. Our pretty friends enjoyed beguiling mortals into their shining underworld, with song, and caresses, and winning promises.
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Once the mortal entered, he met with warm welcomes from all, and the most exquisite meat and drink were set before him. But if he yielded to temptation, and his tongue tasted fairy food, he could never behold his native hills again for years and years. And when, after that exquisite imprisonment, he should be torn from his delights and set back at his father's door, he should find his memory almost forgotten, and others sitting with a claim in his empty seat. And he should not remember how long he had been missing, but grow silent and depressed, and sit for hours, with dreamy eyes, on lonely slopes and wildwood bridges, not desiring fellowship of any soul alive; but with a heartache always for his  little lost playfellows, and for that bright country far away, until he died.
Often the creature who has once stood in the courts of Fairyland, is placed under vow, when released, and allowed to visit the earth, to come back at call, and abide there always. For the spell of that place is so strong, no heart can escape it, nor wish to escape it. Thus ends the old romance of Thomas the Rhymer: that, at the end of seven years, he was freed from Fairyland, made wise beyond all men; but he was sworn to return whenever the summons should reach him.
And once as he was making merry with his chosen comrades, a hart and a hind moved slowly along the village street; and he knew the sign, laid down his glass, and smiled farewell; and followed them straightway into the strange wood, never to be seen more by mortal eyes. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Brownies and Bogles.
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