Or, en m’éveillant un matin, j’aperçus par ma fenêtre, au-dessus des maisons voisines, la grande nappe bleue du ciel tout enflammée de soleil. Les serins accrochés aux fenêtres s’égosillaient; les bonnes chantaient à tous les étages; une rumeur gaie montait de la rue; et je sortis, l’esprit en fête, pour aller je ne sais où.
Guy de Maupassant, Au printemps
Some house fairies from the anglo-saxon folklore:
A brownie or broonie (Scots), also known as a brùnaidh or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic), is a household spirit from British folklore that is said to come out at night while the owners of the house are asleep and perform various chores and farming tasks. The human owners of the house must leave a bowl of milk or cream or some other offering for the brownie, usually by the hearth. Brownies are described as easily offended and will leave their homes forever if they feel they have been insulted or in any way taken advantage of. Brownies are characteristically mischievous and are often said to punish or pull pranks on lazy servants. If angered, they are sometimes said to turn malicious, like boggarts.
Boggart is one of numerous related terms used in English folklore for either a household spirit or a malevolent genius loci inhabiting fields, marshes or other topographical features.The household form causes mischief and things to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs to go lame.
Bwbach “bogy, scarecrow.” A Welsh household fairy which may be helpful or mischievous. It is a scold to teetotalers and dissenting ministers. The bwbach is best known in the three Glamorganshires.
Yon little Tree, yon blooming Apricocke;
How I would spread, and fling my wanton armes
In at her window; I would bring her fruite
Fit for the Gods to feed on: youth and pleasure
Still as she tasted should be doubled on her,
And if she be not heavenly, I would make her
So neere the Gods in nature, they should feare her,
And then I am sure she would love me.
The Two Noble Kinsmen
by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
The matron had given her leave to go out as soon as the women’s tea was over and Maria looked forward to her evening out. The kitchen was spick and span: the cook said you could see yourself in the big copper boilers. The fire was nice and bright and on one of the side-tables were four very big barmbracks. (…)
Maria was a very, very small person indeed but she had a very long nose and a very long chin. She talked a little through her nose, always soothingly: “Yes, my dear,” and “No, my dear.”
Clay, James Joyce
From the book shot forth a ray of light which grew broad and full, like the stem of a tree, from which bright rays spread upward and over the student’s head. Each leaf was fresh, and each flower was like a beautiful female head; some with dark and sparkling eyes, and others with eyes that were wonderfully blue and clear. The fruit gleamed like stars, and the room was filled with sounds of beautiful music. The little goblin had never imagined, much less seen or heard of, any sight so glorious as this. He stood still on tiptoe, peeping in, till the light went out in the garret. The student no doubt had blown out his candle and gone to bed; but the little goblin remained standing there nevertheless, and listening to the music which still sounded on, soft and beautiful, a sweet cradle-song for the student, who had lain down to rest.
“This is a wonderful place,” said the goblin; “I never expected such a thing. I should like to stay here with the student;” and the little man thought it over, for he was a sensible little spirit. At last he sighed, “but the student has no jam!”
Hans Christian Andersen
Stepmothers! It was rotten to have a stepmother, everybody said so. And it was true! Not that Arlena was unkind to her. Most of the time she hardly noticed the girl. But when she did, there was a contemptuous amusement in her glance, in her words. The finished grace and poise of Arlena’s movements emphasized Linda’s own adolescent clumsiness. With Arlena about, one felt, shamingly, just how immature and crude one was.
Il giornalino di Gian Burrasca di Vamba
Non que ces sept années de peau, de chair, de cheveux et d’ossature eussent eu de quoi éclipser les créatures de rêve des jardins d’Allah et du ghetto de la communauté internationale.
La beauté du monde, c’était ma longue pavane offerte au jour, c’était la vitesse de mon cheval, c’était mon crâne déployé comme une voile aux souffles des ventilateurs.
“Soon as you get settled, go to the library“, the Gatekeeper tells me my first day in town.
“There is a girl who minds the place by herself. Tell her the Town told you to come read old greams. She will show you the rest.”
“Old dreams?” I say. “What dio you mean by “old dreams”?”
The Gatekeeper pauses from whittling a round peg, sets down his penknife, and sweeps the wood shavings from the table.”Old dreams are…old dreams. Go to the Library. You will find enough of them to make your eyes roll. Take out as many as you likeand read them good and long.”
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Tomoko ran down to the beach in her bare feet. The pine needles stabbed at her as she went through the groove. The tide had come in, and she had to climb over the rock to the bathing-beach.
“Oh? You’re related to the people who drowned at A. Beach? That’s too bad. Two children and a woman all at once, they say.”
Mi è avvenuto più volte, svegliandomi nel cuor della notte (la notte, in questo caso, non dimostra veramente d’aver cuore), mi è avvenuto di provare al bujo, nel silenzio, una strana meraviglia, uno strano impaccio al ricordo di qualche cosa fatta durante il giorno, alla luce, senz’abbadarci; e ho domandato allora a me stesso se, a determinar le nostre azioni, non concorrano anche i colori, la vista delle cose circostanti, il vario frastuono della vita. Ma sì, senza dubbio; e chi sa quant’altre cose! Non viviamo noi, secondo il signor Anselmo, in relazione con l’universo? Ora sta a vedere quante sciocchezze questo maledetto universo ci fa commettere, di cui poi chiamiamo responsabile la misera coscienza nostra, tirata da forze esterne, abbagliata da una luce che è fuor di lei. E, all’incontro, quante deliberazioni prese, quanti disegni architettati, quanti espedienti macchinati durante la notte non appajono poi vani e non crollano e non sfumano alla luce del giorno? Com’altro è il giorno, altro la notte, così forse una cosa siamo noi di giorno, altra di notte: miserabilissima cosa, ahimè, così di notte come di giorno.
Il fu Mattia Pascal
’Let’s pretend there’s a way of getting through into it, somehow. Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it’s turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It’ll be easy enough to get through—’
Gayly he wandered, the whole day, for he had set out to seek his fortune: if he saw upon the ground a potsherd shining in the sunlight, he took care to pick it up, in the belief that he could change it into a diamond of the first water; if he saw in the distance the cupola of a Mosque sparkling like fire, or the sea glittering like a mirror, he would hasten up, fully persuaded that he had arrived at fairy-land. But ah! these phantoms vanished as he approached, and too soon fatigue, and his stomach gnawed by hunger, convinced him that he was still in the land of mortals.
“What! are there no roses here?” cried Gerda, and she ran out into the garden and examined all the beds, and searched and searched.
There was not one to be found. Then she sat down and wept, and her tears fell just on the place where one of the rose trees had sunk down.
The Snow Queen
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a winged messenger of heaven
(…) and then an old, old woman came out of the house;
she was leaning upon a big, hooked stick,
and she wore a big sun hat,
which was covered with beautiful painted flowers.
Hans Christian Andersen
–Je vais voir ma mère-grand, et lui porter une galette avec un pot de beurre, que ma mère lui envoie.
–Demeure-t-elle bien loin? lui dit le Loup.
–Oh! oui, lui dit le Petit Chaperon Rouge; c’est par delà. le moulin que vous voyez tout là-bas, là-bas, à la première maison du village.
–Eh bien, dit le Loup, je veux l’aller voir aussi; je m’y en vais par ce chemin-ci et toi par ce chemin-là, et nous verrons à qui plus tôt y sera.
Le Cabinet des Fées
splashing out their song.
Helen H. Moore