When you hear the word "Brownie", you may picture a chocolate bake good, a little girl scout or a camera commonly used in the early to mid 1900s. However, the one in which I'm referring to is a nature spirit from Scottish and English folklore. They were given the name "Brownie" because they were little, always wore brown clothing with brown hair and were said to have derived from acorns, pine cones, river stones, mosses, clover, or mushrooms.

Brownies were considered good in nature, helping families with domestic chores only at night as well as playing a few innocent pranks. Only those gifted with second sight, mostly old women, could catch a glimpse of them from time to time. Brownies made their homes in an unused part of the house. If the owners misuse their gifts, they turned into Boggarts, poltergeist-like, mischievous spirits.

They were considered guardians of dragons and keepers the Feather of Hope, which is the means by which all hope on Earth is replenished and distributed. In some villages, they had a large stone called "Brownie’s stone," which the inhabitants offered cow’s milk every Sunday to secure the good-will of the "Brownies."

Brownies were popularized in the humoristic poems of Canadian-American artist and author Palmer Cox. You can read an article he wrote published in 1892 in the Ladies' Home Journal here. Kings even took time from their royal duties to give them recognition. King James mentioned "Brownies" in his book Daemonologie.

Like hard working postal workers, "Brownies" were at their post through rain or shine doing what they do best. A lot of people in today's world could use one of those right about now.



The Fairy Chronicles

Ladies' Home Journal article


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