Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Special Visitor

We came home from the feed store one Sunday afternoon to find a strange gentleman perched on our porch steps.

He looked as if he'd stepped right out of a fairy tale. Perhaps even from the book Broonies, Silkies and Fairies by Duncan Williamson. He wore a peaked red cap, a green shirt and brown trousers, and he carried a long wood walking stick.

I must say that he did not even attempt to explain himself. Instead he heighed off to one of my flower beds and he has remained there ever since.

He does occasionally change his location, I've found. Today, for example he decided to lean against the birdhouse pole and watch me weed.

I hope he stays a long time, and I will do my best not to irritate this little fellow who is obviously a brownie (or broonie or brounie, take your pick). The best way to aggravate him is to offer him new clothes. Since his outfit seems to be stuck fast to his back, I think there's no danger of that.

Brownies are good to have around--they will do your work for you, clean and cook and weed and hoe. But they are touchy too, and it's easy to offend their sensibilities. And once you make a brownie mad, look out! He will forever be playing tricks on you--if he stays around, that is. He may just up and leave, and there you will be with all your work to do by yourself.

If you need to know more about how to care for a household brownie, here are some places to look:

Wikipedia has an interesting article with links to more information.

Orkneyjar offers the tale of the Broonie the King o' Trowland. This short story offers a good insight into the beliefs surrounding brownies.

The poem "The Brownie o Blednoch" tells the story of Aiken Drum. I like to sing the song about Aiken Drum with children, using felt pieces shaped like fruit and other foods to create Aiken Drum's face. The linked version of the song is not quite the same as the one I sing, but you will get the idea of how it goes. You can hear a version on YouTube too.

As for my brownie, I am very glad he came to stay. There is certainly enough work for him to do around here! I just wonder where I'll find him next time I'm in the garden.


Jaime said...

LOL! That was so cute! "..stuck fast to his back" I spit tea when I read that line.

Rowan said...

Lucky you having a brownie to help out in the garden, hope he stays with you for a long time. I would have called him a gnome but I'm not very expert on the little people so I'll follow the links later when I have some spare time and find out more.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

how lovely~you lucky thing!
like rowan i will be following your links later (having a blog/tea break from my essay right now!) and i really hope we have one move into our garden

Granny Sue said...

Well, most people would probably call him a garden gnome, Rowan, but that red hat said brownie to me. And I really *need* a brownie to help around the place! He was a surprise gift, which makes him even more special to me.

Jaime, I think you need one in your garden too. Maybe he'd take it as his duty to scare away deer?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the unexpected guest is the best kind. Sometimes;).


Granny Sue said...

in this case, absolutely! Do I have you alone to thank or you and your sidekick?

Susan said...

Sooooo... what's his name? I like his stick; maybe he can beat away garden pests when you're not looking?

Jaime said...

Scare away deer!?! Works for me!

Granny Sue said...

Hmmm...a name? I'll have to ponder on that. I expect his name will be found one day in an unexpected place. The how my cars get names--with time, their name seems perfectly apparent. Like Burt, the Big ugly red truck. Took about 5 years, and then there it was!

Anonymous said...


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