Saturday, 17 January 2009
Czech House Pixies
The other day I was carrying some rubbish out to the bin, when I slipped on an icy step and fell badly. Fortunately I had my walking boots on which protected my ankle against serious damage, but I am limping and yesterday spent the day resting my leg. This is the third time I have hurt my leg here as regular readers of my blog will know. My friend commented that the house must have a malicious spirit which is tripping me up, not a particularly powerful one, a pixie perhaps. This response may seem strange to my British readers but to a Czech it is a perfectly natural one. The Czechs may be according to surveys the most atheist nation in Europe, but when it comes to pixies, water sprites and fairies they are believers. Let me give you some examples:
A fellow Krumlov Brit was restoring a ruined small cottage as a holiday home when a series of unexplained accidents took place, nothing serious things falling over and the like. The builder looked at him and suggested that they put a saucer of milk for the fairies under the threshold to appease them. My friend Salamander had a cleaner who was constantly talking about the house gnomes, who were playing tricks on her. You know the ones – they are the ones that magic up balls of old hair and fluff and leave them under your bed, that hide your nail scissors in the last place you would look, and turn the milk sour when the shop has just closed. We Brits have forgotten them, but we once had them too. What can I say? Other than Puck is alive and well and living somewhere near Cesky Krumlov.
It strikes me that my house pixie has a clear purpose in what he is doing. He is not trying to force me from the house, not at all. My injuries are just enough to ensure that I cannot walk very from it. Tomorrow I will be leaving my lovely Czech home and taking the early train to Prague, I don't think he wants me to go.