The next topic for one of my writing groups was chosen by me. I had a wonderful idea, a quote from a song, but unfortunately it slipped from my mind when I was asked for it, and I randomly said ‘Boggart’! I’m not sure all the group know what a boggart is, so I’m sending round something I wrote about our boggart, hoping it helps. Then I’ll write something else to share as my effort. Here is what I’m sending to explain:
I may have mentioned our boggart, he’s been with us for a long time, in fact I think either he had adopted me before I was married but he was young and didn’t do very much, or he came with or at the same time as my husband moved in with me. I can’t really describe him to you, although the children used to draw pictures of him when they were young…
Perhaps I ought to explain. A boggart is a sort of sprite or or gremlin-like creature who over the hundreds of years he has been documented is usually malevolent; however I think boggarts have had a bad press and really they are just trying to be helpful and I think they get fed up when they are blamed for things and become mischievous and naughty. Some people say boggarts don’t exist, that they are the same as fairies or goblins or pixies and are just imaginary creatures of folk-lore.
To be honest, when a boggart is trying to be helpful, he usually isn’t much help at all… you know when you find your missing keys in a strange place? It was probably the boggart trying to be helpful and tidy them away… or when you find another object in a peculiar place, your purse in the fridge, a saucepan in the car, a tea cup in the garden… there is a logical explanation, your boggart was trying to be helpful. Sometimes (well, often, actually) I look round our house and I wonder why it is so untidy… well, our boggart has obviously not got the least clue on how to be tidy, so when he is trying to organise things he just creates a chaos of random piles of stuff and all sorts of items spread all over the show.
Our boggart used to be particularly active in the children’s room, so to ‘thank’ him the children would draw a picture of him and then they would help me tidy their things and the boggart would remain inactive for a while, no doubt admiring his portrait.
There are several places in the North of England named after boggarts, Boggart Hole Clough near Manchester, Boggart Bridge in Burnley and Boggarts Roaring Holes on the Yorkshire Moors. My featured image shows a gargoyle, and I just wonder if that is where the images of gargoyles came from, sprites and fairy-folk and maybe the boggarts… perhaps it was the stone-masons way of ‘thanking’ them, by using their image in the abbeys and cathedrals and churches, to keep the boggarts away from their tools and not to try and help by ‘tidying’ them!
Now I’ve shared this news of boggarts, I’m sure you’ll recognize the fact of one having moved in when you see the tell-tale evidence of lost items appearing in strange places or where you’ve already looked, unexplained untidiness, or random organisation of your usually carefully arranged things. Don’t forget, the boggart is only trying to be helpful!