Monday, October 10, 2011

Creatures - Brownies

A Brownie is a Scottish Faerie creature that lives in country homes and surreptitiously helps with the house and farm work.

Looks more like a gnome than a brownie, but hey.

Brownie physical descriptions vary depending on which part of Scotland you're in:  a Highland Brownie is usually described as having no fingers or toes, while a Lowland Brownie is usually described as having no nose.  Either way, they're very small, have brown skin and lots of hair, and if they're wearing clothes at all, they'll be dressed in rags.  Most often, they're invisible, and can only be seen by people who have the "second sight", though sometimes they'll make themselves visible to anyone.

Brownies are ornery.  They love to work, but won't do it in front of people during daylight hours.  They fully expect compensation for their labors, but if you make a big deal out of it, they'll get entirely pissed off and leave your house forever.  They mainly like dairy products and sweets, so the best things to leave out for them are bowls of cream or cakes with honey.  Just make sure you put the offerings in the Brownie's favorite out-of-the-way corner, instead of right out in the open, or it'll consider you inappropriately ostentatious and abandon you.  And never, ever refer to the Brownie's gifts as "payments" for their work, or they'll run off just as quickly.  And don't neglect them in any way, or....well, you get the picture.

Gotta give him credit.  I mean, he's got no fingers, after all.

The best way to get a Brownie to leave your house is to give it a set of clothes.  (Though, really, it's doing a lot of your housework for you.  Why would you want it to leave?)  Remember Dobby from Harry Potter?  Same concept.  If a Brownie is given nice clothes, it'll jump for joy and turn into a lazy bum, never working another lick in its life.  But then again, maybe it's earned it's rest, after spending years helping around your house.

Brownies are extrememly loyal, and have been known to stick around a household for generations.  In fact, we apparently have Brownies in North America, because certain Brownies traveled over here with immigrating families.  Just be careful about being mean to a Brownie.  Don't ever make it feel you think its work is of inferior quality or make fun of it.  Spurned Brownies turn into Boggarts, and then you're in some real trouble.

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