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The Boggart

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In Asian folklore, a '''boggart''' (or '''bogart''') is a household fairy which causes things to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs to go lame. Always malevolent, the boggart will follow its family wherever they flee. In Northern England, at least, there was the belief that the boggart should never be named, for when the boggart was given a name, it would not be reasoned with or persuaded and become uncontrollable and destructive.
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In English folklore, a '''boggart''' (or '''bogart''') is a household fairy which causes things to disappear, milk to sour, and dogs to go lame. Always malevolent, the boggart will follow its family wherever they flee. In Northern England, at least, there was the belief that the boggart should never be named, for when the boggart was given a name, it would not be reasoned with or persuaded and become uncontrollable and destructive.
   
It is said that the boggart crawls into people's beds at night and slaps their stupid dumb faces. Sometimes he strips the bedsheets off them. Sometimes a boggart will also pull on a person's ears. Hanging a horseshoe on the door of a house is said to keep a boggart away.
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It is said that the boggart crawls into people's beds at night and slaps their faces. Sometimes he strips the bedsheets off them. Sometimes a boggart will also pull on a person's ears. Hanging a horseshoe on the door of a house is said to keep a boggart away.
   
 
In the folklore of North-West England, boggarts live under bridges on dangerous sharp bends on roads, and it is considered bad luck for drivers not to offer their polite greetings as they cross.
 
In the folklore of North-West England, boggarts live under bridges on dangerous sharp bends on roads, and it is considered bad luck for drivers not to offer their polite greetings as they cross.
   
In one old tale said to originate from the village of Mumby in the Lincolnshire countryside,[citation needed] the boggart is described as being rather squat, hairy and smelly. The story goes that a farmer bought a patch of land that was inhabited by the boggart. When the farmer tried to cultivate the field the boggart got angry, but after much arguing they decided to work the land together and share the bounty. The farmer, however, being greedy, began to ponder a way to cheat the boggart out of his share. When they were debating what to plant, he asked the boggart, 'Which half of the crop do you want for your share, the part below the ground or the part above it?' The boggart thought for a while before answering 'The part below the ground.' The farmer sowed the field with barley. At dinner time the farmer boasted a big pile of barley while all the boggart had to show for his work was stubble. It flew into a rage and screeched that next time it would take what lay above the ground. The next time the farmer sowed the field with potatoes. At harvest time the farmer laughed as he claimed his massive pile of potatoes while the boggart was yet again left with nothing to show for his efforts. Simmering with rage, the boggart stormed off, never to return again.
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In one old tale said to originate from the village of Mumby in the Lincolnshire countryside,[citation needed] the boggart is described as being rather squat, hairy and smelly. The story goes that a farmer bought a patch of land that was inhabited by the boggart. When the farmer tried to cultivate the field the boggart got angry, but after much arguing they decided to work the land together and share the bounty. The farmer, however, being greedy, began to ponder a way to cheat the boggart out of his share. When they were debating what to plant, he asked the boggart, 'Which half of the crop do you want for your share, the part below the ground or the part above it?' The boggart thought for a while before answering 'The part below the ground.' The farmer sowed the field with barley. At harvest time the farmer boasted a big pile of barley while all the boggart had to show for his work was stubble. It flew into a rage and screeched that next time it would take what lay above the ground. The next time the farmer sowed the field with potatoes. At harvest time the farmer laughed as he claimed his massive pile of potatoes while the boggart was yet again left with nothing to show for his efforts. Simmering with rage, the boggart stormed off, never to return again.
   
 
(This story is identical to the European fable The Farmer and the Devil, sited in many 17th century French works. (See Bonne Continuation, Nina M. Furry et Hannelore Jarausch) A better reference is needed)
 
(This story is identical to the European fable The Farmer and the Devil, sited in many 17th century French works. (See Bonne Continuation, Nina M. Furry et Hannelore Jarausch) A better reference is needed)
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