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Flerus

by Micha F. Lindemans

A household sprite who lived in a farm-house near Ostend, Belgium. He brought prosperity and the owner became the wealthiest person in the neighborhood. The sprite would sometimes appear in human form, sometimes in the form of an animal. If one of the horses as sick, Flerus would immediately appear as a strong and lively horse and willingly suffered himself to be harnessed, and performed thrice the quantity of work of any other horse. He would come to the assistance of the maid-servants when they would not have enough time to clean the house; he would draw water and carry it to them.

The only remuneration Flerus looked for was a little fresh milk and sugar. One day, however, some of the young servant-girls resolved to play a trick on him. They called him and asked him to do some work for them, but when he had finished they set before him, instead of his usual meal, fresh milk with garlic. Scarcely had he tasted it when he vanished saying:


"Melk en look!
Flerus verhuist,
En 't geluk ook."
"Milk and garlic!
Flerus decamps,
And good fortune too.
"

Flerus was never heard from again, and things went badly for the household. From him the place acquired the name of Flerushof.


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