Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day LXXXVI - Domovoi

Hairy housekeeper,
Upset by untidiness,
Sulks beneath the stove.

A diligent domestic spirit from Slavic folklore, the Domovoi is revered as a superb household creature that is undoubtedly handy to have around. Eastern European legend has it that every house has one of the hairy little domesticated beings living under the stove or threshold protecting the family and maintaining a peaceful, orderly abode. In terms of appearance, Domoviye are commonly characterised as having grey beards, little horns and a tail and may even look like their owner who they'll dutifully serve and possibly even act as an oracle for. The furry housekeeper will do the chores and generally be a friendly family member as long as its owners show it affection, don't deliberately make a dirty mess and give it gifts (milk, biscuits or salted bread are popular presents). They'll also unleash their malicious streak on neighbouring households and harass the horses, cause disorder and break things if they're in a bad mood. It pays to appease and appreciate the hairy household spirit of Russian mythology so it doesn't start playing poltergeist tricks. Altogether, I'd say that the Domovoi is a sweet and charming supernatural entity, and no home should be without one.

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