Boggans

“Boggan?”

“Foul little men that like to steal children, sometimes leaving a basket of leaves in its place. Quite fond of shiny things, though. Where I’m from, superstitious wives will leave a coin or silver spoon in the crib so that should a boggan arrive it will take that rather than the babe.”

Boggans are my own creation, inspired partly by boggarts and hobgoblins of the faery realm (with a little bit of Annis if you noted the part about stealing children). They are generally harmless creatures that are prone to mischief where tall-folk are concerned. Any theft of children is done more out of curiosity and a desire to collect things than any desire to do the child harm (the leaves are considered to be payment, and is quite a fair arrangement as far as the boggans are concerned). Yet they have a streak of cruelty that is quick to surface if they are provoked or denied the practice of their misdeeds.

A man no larger than a child gazed up at her with bulbous eyes. His hooked nose hung over sneering lips while a tiny white spider crawled within a cavernous nostril. His clothes were mottled green and brown as though someone had woven together a sack of leaves and moss. Bright red berries hung from the hem of his garment as pearls might hang from a fine dress. On his feet he wore two hollowed gourds, the ends removed to allow his long toes—with even longer, yellowed nails—to dangle freely. He grinned at her, showing rows of darkened teeth that looked of rotten wood.

 

Excerpts from The Thirteenth Tower.

 



Supernatural AtoZ


21 Comments

  1. This is a gorgeous idea, beautifully done! I love the way you’ve crafted the Boggans out of the traits of various types of fairy-folk and made something all your own. I was especially pleased about the motive behind the child-stealing: for the Boggans, it is an extension of the collecting urge, and curiosity!!! I will definitely visit here again!
    Melanie Atherton Allen

  2. It seems to me that either the Boggans are bartering for the child, or their currency is leaves and they are paying for the child. Boggans can actually claim their money grows on trees.

    Perhaps there should be a wives tale of giving children shiny toys, such as a shiny rattle…which could also explain why said item gets lost.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Hehe, I hadn’t thought about the whole “money grows on trees” aspect.

      Using a shiny rattle could work, unless the child has a death-grip on the toy and doesn’t want to give it up. Then both might disappear…

  3. You may say they’re mainly harmless, but I don’t think I’d like to meet a boggan in a dark alley. ;P

    Stealing children is a common and terrifying trope that abounds in fairy tales – that’s nice subversion to your own use. So if leaves are payment, is that what boggans consider currency, or are leave more of a bartering tool?

    Sophie
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic

    • Sara C. Snider

      Fair enough. 🙂

      I’d say the leaves are more of a bartering tool. I kind of imagine the boggan’s form of payment to be much like the “old fashioned idiot” in Monty Python’s Village Idiots sketch. (Around the 2:00 mark, specifically.)

  4. I have to agree with Soph, they sound just a little intimidating, even if they are child size :). I think it’s the teeth and the long nails that do it. Very nicely crafted.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings

    • Sara C. Snider

      Don’t forget the spider in the nose. If I ever saw a person like that–large or small–I’d freak out (I don’t like spiders). Thanks, Tasha. 🙂

  5. Poor little stolen babies! What did they do with them after satisfying their curiosity?

    • Sara C. Snider

      You know, I hadn’t ever thought that far. As it is in my book, it’s just a legend (no babies were stolen in the production of this story). Though, it’s not uncommon in faerie stories for humans that enter the faerie realm to stay there (perhaps unwillingly, but still, they don’t die or anything–not unless they return). Maybe something like that happens. We’ll stick with that rather than ponder less pleasant possibilities. 😉

  6. Tarkabarka

    I always tell people fae creatures are little creeps, but no one ever believes me. They are all like “But they are so cuuuuute! And they have butterfly wings!!!” Heh. 😀

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Tales of Colors
    MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarians…

    • Sara C. Snider

      Cute my foot! I’m with you, they usually are little creeps. The cute ones aren’t to be trusted, either. They’d probably chew out your spleen if they got the chance. 😉

  7. That’s a brilliant description – I feel like I can see exactly what he looks like. This is a great creature 🙂

  8. Your description is very well written. Spider in the nostril! Ha! That made me sit up and pay attention. 🙂
    (new follower)
    Lexa Cain’s Blog

  9. It is, for the record, one of my favorite of your little creatures in your book! Love all your imagination so far. And I’m excited to see al the characters you come up with. Are you going to do an index or something so we can refer back to them?

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Katie. 🙂 Hadn’t really planned on an index. These blog posts are under their own category, so that’s probably as close as we’ll get at the moment.

  10. I just love your theme so much. Learning about these creatures is a lot of fun. So many of them out there!

    Carrie~Anne at That Dizzy Chick

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *