Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.
According to Scottish and English folklore, brownies are small humanoids that inhabit unused portions of houses, such as attics, basements, or within the walls. Brownies help with the household chores, but because they don’t like to be seen, they work at night. They appreciate gifts of food, particularly honey, porridge and dairy products. But brownies may depart the home if their gifts are referred to as payments, or if the human occupants mistreat them.
Not above forty or fifty years ago, every family had a brownie, or evil spirit, so called, which served them, to which they gave a sacrifice for his service; as when they churned their milk, they took a part thereof, and sprinkled every corner of the house with it, for Brownie’s use; likewise, when they brewed, they had a stone which they called “Brownie’s stane”, wherein there was a little hole into which they poured some wort for a sacrifice to Brownie. They also had some stacks of corn, which they called Brownie’s Stacks, which, though they were not bound with straw ropes, or in any way fenced as other stacks used to be, yet the greatest storm of wind was not able to blow away straw off them.
More recently, brownies appear in the game Dungeons & Dragons, the films Willow and Harry Potter, and the books THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, DIARY OF A MAD BROWNIE by Bruce Coville, and MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES by Henry Herz.