The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Brownie


A brownie is a legendary kind of creature popular in folklore around Scotland and England (especially the north). Brownies are about two to three feet high and dress in brown clothes. They have brown wrinkled faces and shaggy hair. Brownies make themselves responsible for for the house where they live by coming out at night to complete unfinished work. Any offer of reward will drive them away, but they expect an occasional bowl of milk and piece of cake to be left out. They take quite a delight in porridge.
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In the West County, Pixies occasionally perform the office of a brownie and show some of the same characteristics, though they are essentially different. Border brownies are the most characteristic. They are small men, about three feet in height, very raggedly dressed in brown clothes, with brown faces and shaggy heads. They make themselves responsible for the farm or house in which they live: reap, mow, thresh, herd the sheep, prevent the hens fromlaying away, and give goode counsel at need. A brownie can become personnaly attached to one member of the family and make their homes in a unused part of the house.
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Tradition says they do not like teetotallers and ministers. If offended, brownies will create malicious mishchief. If there is a lazy servant in the home, he might choose to plague him for it.
All Brownies expect in return is a bowl of cream or good milk and a honey cake. Never leave clothes and never leave too much food. They find this offensive and will leave. Care should be taken not to criticize their work. When one farmer criticized the mowing job, the Brownie responsible threw the entire crop over a cliff. When Brownies are offended, it is said that they turn into boggarts. How Brownies transform into these formless creatures is unknown. There is a possibility that boggarts and brownies have an association in which when the brownie moves out, the boggart movies into the space the brownie used to live. This living arrangement would make more sense than a total transformation.
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Tradition
*Brownies were also known as the guardians of dragons.
*The ùruisg (See names for brownies later in this article) had the qualities of man and spirit curiously commingled. He had a peculiar fondness for solitude at certain seasons of the year. About the end of Harvest, he became more sociable and hovered about farmyards, stables, and cattle-houses. He had a particular fondness for the products of the dairy, and was a fearful intruder on milkmaids, who made regular librations of milk or cream to charm him off, or to procure his favour. He could be seen supposedly only by those who had the second sight, though instances where he made himself visible to people not so Gifted have been rumoured. He is said to have been a jolly personable being with a broad blue bonnet, flowing yellow hair, and a long walking staff.
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Every manor house had its ùruisg, and in the kitchen, close by the fire was a seat, which was left unoccupied for him. The house of a proprietor on the banks of the River Tay was even at the beginning of the twentieth century believed to have been haunted by this sprite, and a particular apartment therein has been for centuries called "Seòmar Bhrùnaidh" (Brownie’s room).
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When irritated through neglect or disrespectful treatment he would not hesitate to become wantonly mischievous. He was notwithstanding, rather gainly and good-natured rather that formidable. When in this mood, he was known to perform many arduous exploits in kitchen, barn and stable, with marvellous precision and rapidity. These kind turns were done without bribe, fee or reward, for the offer of any one of these would banish him forever. Kind treatment was all he ever wished for, and it never failed to procure his favour.
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In 1703, John Brand wrote in his description of Zetland that:
“Not above forty or fifty years ago, every family had a brownie. . .so called, which served them, to which they gave a sacrifice for his service; as when they churned their milk, they took a part thereof, and sprinkled every corner of the house with it, for Brownie’s use; likewise, when they brewed, they had a stone which they called ‘Brownie’s stane’, wherein there was a little hole into which they poured some wort for a sacrifice to Brownie. They also had some stacks of corn, which they called Brownie’s Stacks, which, though they were not bound with straw ropes, or in any way fenced as other stacks used to be, yet the greatest storm of wind was not able to blow away straw off them.”

The brownies seldom discoursed with man, but they held frequent and affectionate converse with one another. They had their general assemblies too, and on those occasions they commonly selected for their rendezvous the rocky recesses of some remote torrent, whence their loud voices, mingling with the water’s roar, carried to the ears of some wondering superstition detached parts of their unearthly colloquies.
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In a certain district of the Scottish Highlands a "Peallaidh an Spùit" (Peallaidh of the Spout), "Stochdail a’ Chùirt", and "Brùnaidh an Easain" (Brownie of the little waterfall) were names of note at those congresses, and they still live in legends which continue to amuse old age and infancy. Every stream in Breadalbane had an ùruisg once according to Watson the Scottish place name expert, and their king was Peallaidh. (Peallaidh's name is preserved in "Obair Pheallaidh", known in English as "Aberfeldy".) It may be the case, that ùruisg was conflated with some water sprite, or that ùruisg were originally water sprites conflated with brownies.

Another name for a brownie. . . .
Bwca or Bwbachod. . Wales
Bodach (Budagh) . . . Scottish Highlands
Fenodoree. . . . . . . . . Man
Psgies. . . . . . . . . . . . . West County of England
Bockle . . . . . . . . . . . . .Scotland
Tomte. . . . . . . . . . . . . Scandanavia
Domovoi. . . . . . . . . . . .Slavia
Heinzelmannchen. . . .Germany

More Nicknames. . . .
Brounie
Urisk
Uruisg
Brunaidh
gruagach

Modern culture

*Brownies were popularized in the humoristic poems of Canadian-American artist and author Palmer Cox.
*The House Elves featured in the Harry Potter series have characteristics of brownies. However, house elves are not brownies, but many believe that the two species shared a common ancestor.
*In the book "Dragon rider", written by Cornelia Funke, brownies were depicted as cat-like, mushroom-eating creatures that live alongside dragons rather than being creatures who do house chores, aiding in house tasks, and getting treats for it. Instead they are creatures who love to eat mushrooms and have a connection to dragons rather than brownies in folklore and mythology. Although Brownies occassionaly are the guardians of dragons, the cat-like description is inaccurate. They do enjoy mushrooms, but they prefer a nicely cooked porridge. *In the film Willow, two brownies "helped" Willow throughout the film. Their names were Franjean and Rool.
*In "The Divide", "Back to the Divide", and "Jinx on the Divide" by Elizabeth, brownies are small elf-like creatures that practice reading crystal balls and are called "Ragamuckies."
*Three brownies serve Elena the godmother in the Mercedes Lackey book The Fairy Godmother.
*Numerous references exist in Enid Blyton's books, where brownies are depicted as fun-loving creatures on the lookout for adventure, such as in the book "Tuppenny, Feefo and Jinks". Big-Ears, a character in Blyton's Noddy series of books, is also a brownie.
*The myth of the brownie is central to Neil Gaiman's novel, American Gods. In the novel, the brownie is portrayed as a powerful Germanic spirit that protects and provides for a town, while at the same time taking young people as sacrifices.
*The Spiderwick series of books by Holly Black and Tony Di'Terlizzi feature a brownie named Thimbletack, undergoing an often combative relationship with the new residents of the Spiderwick estate.
A Special thanks to Wikipedia and The Fae Dictionary

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

i have a brownie in my house and i think it is cool!

emily said...

i am ten and i have a brownie in my house!

Ethenielle Teir'elenia said...

awesome.

So is my description right?

emliy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
its just dinner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i know i have a brownie in my house because it hits me when i am in bed

Arthur's Bea said...

Once, My brownie tried to get in bed with me and well, I wasn't having any of that. But, apparently he was.

Anonymous said...

that really helped me understand Brownies better

Anonymous said...

quite interesting article. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Anonymous said...

i created a brownie house, and put a cup of water in the house when i came back thewater was almost gone, its was so cool

tp ej lc said...

im like a totall mystical creature fan . every nite i put a micanical pencile in a seceret place in my basement, my parents dont even know about it, but any ways i take the micanical pencile apart and leave him a gift i wake up in the morning and the gift is gone and the penicle is fixed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! awesome right

Skylar said...

we have a brownie in our house because every night we hear noises on the dresser and when I wake up something`s always moved