The Brownie is a helpful fairy to have about your house. In Scotland and northern England, they attach themselves to one household and are happy to perform all kinds of chores while the owners sleep. Remember the Brownie motto - "Lend a Hand" - well, they surely do! They are also very elusive - and in fact, I found it hard to find a picture of one! But their little Danish cousins were caught in 1908 helping out in a barn on Christmas Eve.
You must be very careful not to offend your Brownie and never, ever offer them clothes unless you want them to disappear forever. Remember the shoemakers elves and Dobby in Harry Potter? Unlike poor Dobby, most Brownies really enjoy their tasks - if well-treated. If you are fortunate enough to have a lovely Brownie attach him/herself to your home, you can (and should!) show your appreciation with a little bowl of milk.
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Folklore & Magic Archives