A brownie is a Scottish and British folkloric figure, now the standard term for a helpful household fairy. When first recorded in the early 16th century, brownie was a dialect word limited to Lowland Scotland and the English border counties. Beliefs and tales about brownies are similar everywhere. They work at night doing housework and farm tasks, and their presence was welcomed as they ensured prosperity. As a reward, a bowl of cream or porridge, or a small cake, is regularly set out for them, usually on the hearth. In the Hebrides a type of brownie was called the ‘Gruagach’. The brownie’s appearance according to some accounts, suggest he was a stout hairy man, while others say he was short but not necessarily rotund, and his hair was fair and flowing. In either case he usually wore brown ragged clothes. It was important not to make a fuss over his needs, or to notice his ragged clothing, for to offer him some human clothing would result in the offended brownie leaving to seek employment elsewhere, or he could turn into a troublesome boggart, a trickster version of the brownie often found in Cornwall. See, Superstitions of the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, John Gregorson Campbell, Glasgow, 1900, pp. 186-89; A Dictionary of English Folklore, Jacqueline Simpson, Stephen Roud, Oxford University Press, 2000; The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, Patricia Monaghan, Facts On File, Inc., New York, 2004, pp. 61-2.