leshy


leshy

In Slavic mythology, a forest spirit. The leshy is an antic spirit who enjoys playing tricks on people, though when angered he can be treacherous. He is seldom seen, but his voice can be heard in the forest laughing, whistling, or singing. He often takes the shape of a man, but his eyebrows, eyelashes, and right ear are missing, his head is pointed, and he lacks a hat and belt. In his native forest, the leshy is as tall as the trees, but the moment he steps beyond it, he shrinks to the size of grass. The leshy is familiar to most Slavs living in heavily forested areas.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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