A fairy is a tiny being that possesses magical powers. Fairies are also large and small, nasty and nice, frightening and funny, beautiful and ugly beings that possess delightful powers. There is a whole variety of other supernatural beings that are generally classified as “fairies”, for example, elves, gnomes, goblins, pixies, leprechauns, brownies, hobgoblins…
Flower Fairies ~ Beautiful beings that embody the spirit of a flower, shrub or tree. They are found wherever plants and flowers grow. Fairy lore, which is vast and varied, tells of woodland kingdoms inhabited by tiny creatures clothed in exquisite fabrics of blue, green, and gold. Although they usually resemble the fairest of humans, fairies can shift shape to look like animals or become invisible at will. Great lovers of music, they dance round mushrooms and toadstools by the light of the moon, accompanied by tiny flutes and harps.
Elves ~ Merry beings who live in colonies under the earth. They love parties, music and dancing and are known for making mischief. An elf may be small enough to sleep under a toadstool or large enough to pass for human.
Gnomes ~ Gnomes are little bearded men who guard hidden treasure in the woods and hills where they live. “Garden Gnomes”-cheerful plaster statues of bearded little men with pointed red hats-are popular outdoor ornaments. No one knows exactly how gnomes came to be associated with gardens. Some suggest that, as statuary, they first appeared as welcoming figures at the entryways to grand buildings and then were adopted for more personal use. Another possibility is that the link emerged from folklore, where gnomes were traditionally associated with earth. In German lore, gnomes, like dwarfs, live underground , where they mine for precious metals and guard treasure.
Pixies ~ Playful elfin beings. Pixies almost always dress in green and often wear a pointed cap. In addition to their fiery red hair, they can be identified by their pointed ears, turned-up noses, and distinctive squint.They are usually about seven or eight inches tall, although some stories suggest they can be any size they choose. They occasionally mislead travelers. They live underground, or in caves, meadows, or groves of trees, but can also be enticed to move indoors.
Goblins ~ Small grotesque beings that like to make trouble for human beings. Hobgoblins, however, have a similar disposition to Brownies, being friendly and good-humored (and fond of practical jokes). They frequently attach themselves to a specific person or family and move into their home. They are particularly fond of isolated farmhouses and cottages in the countryside.
Brownies ~ Helpful little men who sometimes assist with household chores. They have been said to visit farms and get tasks done while the family sleeps.
Leprechauns~ Leprechauns are clever Irish fairies, and they spend most of their time in their forest workplaces. Although these fairies of Irish folklore spend most of their time making shoes, it’s no secret that leprechauns also keep watch over ancient stores of buried gold and other treasure. Every leprechaun has its hidden pot of gold. Modern depictions of leprechauns, especially those seen around St. Patrick’s Day, usually show a little man dressed all in green. Traditionally, however, the dapper leprechaun might be seen in a red jacket with shiny silver buttons, blue or brown stockings, big shoes with fat silver buckles, and a high-crowned or three-cornered hat. Standing tall at six inches to two feet, leprechauns can look both mischievous and dignified.