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poldies


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In the Wirral and along the Cheshire/Lancashire border, poldies are a type of fairy said to live in woodland. One of the present authors [JS] was told by a friend who often visited that area as a child in the 1950s, how children going to the woods would be told by their parents to come home in good time—‘You take care of the poldies. As soon as it starts to get dark the poldies come out.’ They were also thought of as guardian spirits of the woods, who would punish anyone who did damage there by causing them to have some accident. The informant recalls a cousin of hers deliberately twisting small branches off a tree and tossing them away, despite her protests; a few minutes later he sprained his ankle badly, which she thought might will be the poldies’ doing. Some years later, she heard of a building contractor abandoning plans to grub up a wood in the Wirral because of constant delays from flooding, machinery breakdowns, etc.; local people said it was due to poldies defending their homes.


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