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The fenoderee is a brownie-like creature that dwells on the Isle of Man

The fenoderee


Etymology

Other spellings include phynodderee, phynnodderee, fynnoderee, fenoderee or even yn foldyr gastey, which means 'the nimble mower'. Fenodyree is in fact the term used for 'satyr' in the 1819 Manx version of the Bible (Isaiah 34:14).


Description

Tall, with twisted, ugly features and a naked body covered with black hair, the fenoderee is generally described as a Manx brownie. He was sometimes confused with the glasthan, a Manx hobgoblin, now blended with the Glashtin, a different kind of creature. Anecdotal tales tell of his exploits around humans and there seems to be some confusion over whether he was a solitary individual or a class of super human creature.


Origin

The Fenoderee used to belong to the Ferrishyn, an elfish-tribe on the Isle of Man. The creature was once thought handsome and known as uddereek but one day fall in love with a mortal woman who lived in Glen Aldyn and as a result failed to attend the Autumn Festival in Glen Rushen. Consequently, he was given his ugly hairy shape and fated to wander alone till doomsday.


Behavior

The fenodoree possesses great strength and is favored by farmers for helping with heavy agricultural tasks, and are famed for their skill, thoroughness and efficiency in harvesting crops. For that purpose he is sometimes called yn foldyr gastey (the nimble mower).

He may mischievously shake hands with someone, easily crushing the person's hand with his grip. However, people can take advantage of his dullness and instruct him to gather water in a sieve or round up a hare with a flock of sheep in revenge.

Like all brownies, he is offended by thanks or gifts, especially of clothes, and will not tolerate criticism either. In one version of the tale, the clothing was not good enough and the fenodyree left in a huff; in another, it transpired that the brownie believed clothing unhealthy and a cause of disease so, again, left in a huff.

The fenoderee has also been connected to the Crop circle phenomenon.


Tale

A gentleman having resolved to build a large house on his property, at a place called Sholt-ewill, near the foot of Snafield mountain, caused the stones to be quarried on the beach. There was one large block of white stone which he was very anxious to have, but all the men in the parish could not move it. To their surprise, the Phynnodderee in the course of one night conveyed all the stones that had been quarried, the great white one included, up to the proposed site, and the white stone is there still to be seen. The gentleman, to reward the Phynnodderee, caused some clothes to be left for him in one of his usual haunts.

When he saw them, he lifted them up one by one, saying in Manks:

Bayrm da’n choine, dy doogh da’n choine,
Cooat da’n dreeym, dy doogh da’n dreeym,
Breechyn da’n toyn, dy doogh da’n toyn,
Agh my she lhiat ooiley, shoh cha nee lhiat Glen reagh Rushen.
Cap for the head, alas, poor head!
Coat for the back, alas, poor back!
Breeches for the breech, alas, poor breech!
If these be all thine, thine cannot be the merry glen of Rushen.
And he departed with a melancholy wail, and has never been seen


See also

Brownie


Art/Fiction

Fenodyree is also character in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (Alan Garner), a young-adult fantasy set in Alderley Edge in Cheshire.