In the legends associated with Dartmoor, pixies (or piskeys) are said to disguise themselves as a bundle of rags to lure children into their play. The pixies of Dartmoor are fond of music and dancing and for riding on Dartmoor colts. These pixies are generally said to be helpful to normal humans, sometimes helping needy widows and others with housework. They are not completely benign however, as they have a reputation for misleading travelers (being “pixy-led”, the remedy for which is to turn your coat inside out).
In 1890, William Crossing noted a pixie’s preference for bits of finery: “Indeed, a sort of weakness for finery exists among them, and a piece of ribbon appears to be… highly prized by them.”
By the early 19th century their contact with humans had diminished. In Samuel Drew’s 1824 book Cornwall one finds the observation: “The age of pixies, like that of chivalry, is gone. There is, perhaps, at present hardly a house they are reputed to visit. Even the fields and lanes which they formerly frequented seem to be nearly forsaken. Their music is rarely heard.”
The Maryland blue capped Pixie is alive and well. They have promised the Seelie Queen to be on best behavior, to help all visitors to the Maryland Faerie Festival!
By Nina Amaya