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P is for Pixie

Illustration from Among Pixies and 
Trolls, a children’s anthology

Name: Pixie (also Pixy, Pixi, Pizkie, Piskies and Pigsies)

Type: fairy or sprite-like being

Origin: Cornish folklore

Description: Pixies are very small beings that live mostly in the high moorland areas near Devon and Cornwall. They’re also associated with exploring ocean caves. Usually, they are naked or scantly clothed and possess pointed ears and a pointed hat. Some say that pixies have wings, and others say they are without wings. One thing they especially enjoy is riding horses. While doing so, they make ringlets in the manes of the horses they ride. As for their demeanor, sometimes they kidnap children or mislead travelers (the cure for being pixie-led is to turn your coat inside out), but they not thought to be malevolent. They’ve been said to be help out widows and those in need at times.

Interesting Facts: Pixies lore predates Christianity in Britain, and the people in Cornwall and Devon took them quite seriously. To this day, there is a Pixie Day from an old tradition re-enacted annually on the Saturday in June nearest Mid-Summer’s Day in Ottery St. Mary, England.

Have you heard of Pixies? Any other “P” beings or creatures you know of?


  1. Hi Sarah,
    What fun! Wonderful posts about mythology. Love all of these other-worldly beings you have presented here!

    I see that you write fantasy fiction. Cool! I would also like to write fantasy. I'm working on a children's fantasy story, right now. Hope I can find a publisher when it's finished.

    BTW, the image of the Pixie, that you have chosen to illustrate this post was painted by the Swedish illustrator, John Bauer (1882-1918).

    'Pixies' are not restricted to the British Ilses. 'Pixies' or their counterparts, are to be found in forests all around Northern Europe. It's just that they are called different names; in Swedish they would be 'älvor'.

    Best wishes,

  2. Hi Sarah!! Love this post! This was the most neat to learn! I always loved learning more titbits on the historical and fantasy romance books I read! Its fun too because they so unique as Pixes are! I don't think I ever read any but would love to read them in a mythology romance! Thanks to Ann Cory for telling us about this post on twitter!

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