Aphelion Issue 229, Volume 22
June 2018
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Brownie

by Richard H. Fay

Sweep, sweep, sweep,
Clean the farmhouse floor in secret
While tired mortal family sleeps.
Wipe the table, dust the cupboard,
Keep this farmer's home looking neat.

Churn, churn, churn,
Perform certain household magic
By making butter out of cream.
Then reap the stalks and thresh the wheat,
Finish farmhand's chores left undone.

Wash, wash, wash,
Dirty dishes left in the sink.
Splash in frothy suds as moon shines,
Then dry the dripping forks and plates.
Stack them up before dawn arrives.

Sip, sip, sip,
From a small bowl of warm milk placed
Near the hearth, within easy reach.
As humble reward for my work,
'Tis all I ever really need.

Listen, listen, listen,
Hear the farmer's wife sneak a peek
At this brownie's nightly labours.
She spies hairy sprite dressed in rags
And decides to give a grand gift.

Dance, dance, dance,
Reel 'round the house in giddy glee.
Garbed in bright green breeches and coat
Given in unknowing kindness,
I gladly sing of my toil's end.

Away, away, away,
Be slaving brownie no longer.
This fine fay lad clad in new clothes
Will now become a fairy free
And work away his nights no more.

(Originally published in FrostFire Worlds, issue 1, August 2013.)

© 2013 Richard H. Fay

Richard H. Fay currently resides in upstate New York with his wife and two cats. Formerly a laboratory-technician-turned-home-educator, Richard now spends his days juggling numerous art and writing projects. History, myth, folklore, and legend serve as inspiration for his creative endeavours. Many of the fruits of his labour have appeared in various e-zines, print magazines, and anthologies.

Find more by Richard in the Author Index

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