Elves, Dwarves, and other Spirits of Nature living close to your house
In Norse mythology, the elves are called Alfar. There are two kinds of elves: light and dark. The light elves, also called “Liosolfar” are human-size creatures that live in a beautiful place called Alfheim, between Heaven and Earth. They are good with people. The dark elves (Dockalfar) have dark skin and live underground. They are mean, powerful and destructive.
In British and Scottish mythology, elves are human - sized too but, unlike the norse elves,they are not benevolent to people. They live in a place called Elphame and they come out to hunt livestock. They also kidnap children that are not protected yet by the oak and ivy wreath.
In Iceland folklore, there are female elves called Spae-wives. They are very small creatures that live in cemeteries and have healing powers, knowing the secrets of the plants. They can also foretell the future by reading in tea leaves, runes and natural signs.
Other female elves are called Elle and came out of Denmark folklore. They are human - sized and have blond hair but a hallow back. They are good singers and like to play musical instruments. They live in the woods and can charm young men if they venture close to an elf lady. Their husbands are short, old, and not so handsome elves, wearing dark hats. They are mean and can make people sick just by blowing their breath over someone. They live in a place called Ellemounds.
In Spain, the elves are named Duendes. These elves are small and wear typical clothing: females are dress in red, green or grey, and males wear conical hats, red caps or dark hoods. They can be good or bad but there isn’t a clear distinction. They live around households, in the walls and sometimes they like to clean and repair stuff, other times they just make a huge mess.
Other household spirits are Brownie, Kobald and Piskie.
Brownie is a English or Scottish little men, with brown, curly hair, wearing brown clothing and a conical hat or hood. He lives at a house or farm and does some maintenance work at night. He could become easily upset if someone criticizes his work or isn’t kind with the animals. People who live in the house usually let some food for Brownie to thank him for the work.
Kobals is a German and looks like a little old man. A house where a Kobals lives becomes beautiful because he would do all the work needed in a household. He works at night too while family is asleep. If abused, he may live the house forever.
Piskies or Pixies are little human-shaped creatures that helps British families with their house work. You can tell them apart from Brownies because their eyes are slant upward and their ears are pointed. They are not reliable because their love for playing tricks, stealing horses and even borrowing children that go missing for few days at a time.
Dwarves are little creatures of the earth that live in caves or mines. They look like old men.They are specialists in metal work, often crafting magical and powerful objects like swords, helmets and rings. Sometimes the objects are cloaking devices that make them invisible. In German folklore there are three kind of dwarves: white, brown and black. The white dwarf is good and peaceful, the brown dwarf is mean and likes to play tricks on people and even steal their babies. The black dwarf is malicious and only works to create deadly weapons and destroy ships.
And there is this Red Dwarf from Detroit, also called Nain Rouge. A curiosity that it is said to have made one famous appearance one night in 1967 when a riot sparked in the town. He was doing happy cartwheels on the streets.
Leprechauns are probably the one spirits that have it’s own day. In Irish folklore, Leprechauns are little old people, dress in green, with a silver buckle on their shoes and a very tall hat with a large brim. They are shoemakers and are very wealthy. And also very tricky but can be caught if someone keeps an eye on them.
The most famous of the spirits of nature, celebrated to these days, every single year are the Christmas elves. They help Santa make the presents he brings to the children in Christmas Eve. They have magical skills and live at North Pole.
Other famous creatures, this time coming through contemporary literature, are the elves from “The Lord of the Ring”, a trilogy story written by J.R.R. Tolkien. These elves are human-sized creatures, living in the forest. They have beautiful features and a noble character. Tolkien elves are good and helpful.
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