Linchetto: mischievous spirit!Mysteries & Legends
Linchetto: mischievous spirit!
In the Province of Lucca and in Garfagnana, if anything of yours goes missing or if it seems to have been inexplicably moved, the locals will not hesitate to give you an explanation: it's all because of Linchetto! What is all this about? Linchetto is a rather mischievous sprite who may also resemble a naughty breeze that ruffles the leaves. When the wind stops he turns into a living creature - yet no one really knows what he looks like as he never reveals himself! He is sometimes described as a skinny little man with a beard and a red hat, just like Papa Smurf! For others he seems to have the appearance of a strange creature half human, mouse and bird-like.
But what is this wicked sprite really up to? To start with, he seems to wander around especially at night, and likes the countryside though he does not disdain old town houses either! He always finds the most haphazard ways to have fun – indeed you can hear him sniggering loudly, or see him intent on pulling the blankets off those asleep, or even worse, sitting or treading on their chest to make them choke. He seems kind to children who he gently caresses but cannot stand grannies! He knocks on doors at night, he hides objects, moves them about, and makes inextricable knots on the animal tails in the stables...
How can you fend him off? As he seems to be rather meticulous, juniper branches always work: he cannot help but count the leaves, eventually gets bored and hence walks away! Same thing with spell or chickpeas that should strictly be kept on the bedside table: he will try to count them but in the end will lose track and get bored, looking for someone else to bother. If you go to Lucca or Garfagnana, you have been warned, but do not be intimidated! It is true that children are told to behave if they do not want to be taken away by Linchetto, but in reality he has never hurt anyone! It even seems that when he sees a housewife bogged down with chores, he secretly finishes some of them off for her!
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