The Modern Bestiary – E is for Ellyll

Mad little creatures! 

1126931186_imefairy32Always making trouble!

The Ellyllon are commonly thought of as pigmy elves, although that term is inaccurate.  They are usually much smaller than that.  Rather than a 50-Cent version of true elves, they’re more like two for a nickel knock-offs.  In Faerie, you’ll find them haunting isolated groves of trees and hidden valleys.  Here, you’ll find them in similar places, and sometimes in your barn,  your garden, or your chicken coop.

ellyll 2  The Ellyll are often depicted as delicate childlike creatures.  Trust me – the word for what they are is childish.  Also spiteful, tricksy, sly, and greedy!

They haven’t done well since the Fall.  Far too many were killed by the shock wave that cast all of us out of Faerie, and thousands more have died since.  As soon as they’ve used up their minute stores of magic, they’re fair game for humans, and likely as not to die at the end of a fly swatter.

ellyll 1

Many have therefore turned even further toward mimicry as a defense, taking on the shapes and hues of insects, plants, moss, twigs, and flowers.

Thus the feral forms are now barely recognizable, and many have lost the power of speech.  In some cases, they have devolved completely.  They have become stick insects of various kinds, distinguishable from the actual animals only by an evil expression, or by the twinkle of their eyes as they pose on a tree branch or flit past your head, or by the glitter trails they leave behind.

moss stick insect

Would you think this is a living creature of any kind, let alone an ellyll?

moss stick insect 2

Look closer, however, and you’ll detect the truth of the matter.

Others have developed a different kind of protective coloration and sought refuge in, of all things, florists’ shops.

orchid mantis 2

This imitation orchid mantis, for instance, has been known to nip the incautious fingers of those engaged in flower arrangement.

orchid mantis 1

And those who unwisely decide to hide themselves among marijuana buds often lose all perspective.  They take on gaudy hues galore, and adorn themselves with any halfway appealing shape or figure, including the “happy face” stickers so adored by certain smaller humans.  I blame the magnified THC content of modern hemp, which has been overbred beyond belief by human drug dealers.  These ellyll are simply stoned out of their tiny minds!

Some modern humans claim the ellyll contain the souls of the ancient Druids.  They say those souls, supposedly too good for hell and yet not good enough for heaven, are being permitted to wander the earth until Judgment Day, when they will be admitted to a higher state of being.

Nonsense!  This is an idea borrowed from Buddhism!  No Fae is ever reincarnated!

Certainly not the little people, whose ambitions are far more prosaic.  For pity’s sake, their usual food is the toadstool or ‘fairy butter’, a fungoid substance found in limestone crevices and under the roots of rotten trees.  Believe me, the alkaloids found in that stuff leave them with no need of nirvana!

ellyll 4

Nor do they require more than the most humble abodes.

Their most serious lack here and now is a patron, someone among the Sidhe who is willing to put up with their shenanigans and able to keep them in check, for their own good as much as the rest of us.  Alas, their former guardian was Queen Mab, who died at the hands of Titania.  Then the selfish bitch refused to take her victim’s place as ruler of the ellyllon, insisting they were responsible for their own misery when they were all left homeless and nearly defenseless in the aftermath.

Small wonder that some of the wilder tribes have taken to painting themselves with woad and rampaging about unguarded kitchens, stealing beer out of human refrigerators and then venting the used liquid into their house plants!


Well, where do you think the idea for the mac Feegle clan came from!? 

I lay the blame for all of that mayhem in miniature at Titania’s feet!





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