French Lutin Mythology Folklore

The lutin, a small, mischievous, shape-shifting being, is the French reply to the British Puck, a trickster who loves to play pranks on unsuspecting people. His pranks nearly by no means lead to damage, simply embarrassment on the a part of the human.

Tales of the lutin may be discovered each in France and in French Canada, and may enliven a storyteller’s repertoire. However, a storyteller striving for authenticity ought to be aware that in fashionable French, the phrase lutin is usually misapplied to any fairy being.

Since the lutin is a shape-shifter, the tales say {that a} shepherd or farmer by no means knew when he would possibly seem; the lutin might change himself into a person, lady, or baby, a stick, a goat, or a plowshare. Indeed, the one form he couldn’t take was that of a needle. He might rework himself right into a needle, however attempt as he would possibly, he by no means was in a position to imitate the opening, so any lady would have discovered him out the second she started to sew.

The lutin, the tales say, most well-liked to work his pranks at night time, when nobody was awake to get in his manner. He would possibly determine to unfasten the cows, wait till the people obtained the cows again of their stalls, after which release them once more. Or he would possibly determine to spend the night time plaiting up the mane and tail of each horse, and even braiding two tails collectively for the people to unfasten. The lutin additionally appreciated to scare people out strolling at night time.

According to one story, a person was passing alongside the financial institution of a stream within the night,when he observed a sheep bleating loudly. Thinking it will need to have strayed from the flock, and that he had higher take it residence with him till he might uncover its proprietor, he lifted the animal onto his again and staggered on his manner.

Then a voice all of a sudden requested, “Where are you?”
From the sheep got here the reply, “On the back of a donkey!”
The man dropped the sheep and ran. As he ran, he heard fun from behind him and knew he had been tricked by a lutin.

Another story tells of the lutin going after a younger lady who was on the lookout for coloured thread to sew her new robe (a second model says it was a marriage gown). She was delighted to find, mendacity on the aspect of the highway, a big ball of coloured thread. It matched the material completely, and she or he swiftly sewed the robe along with it.

The younger lady determined to put on the robe to church (the second model says it was on her marriage ceremony day). But as quickly as she took the first step into the church, her fine gown fell to items. The fine coloured thread had fully vanished—it had been a lutin’s trick.