The Leshy (also known as Lesovik or Lezca) is a woodland spirit who is also a guardian of their forest. These lords of the forest are typically depicted to look satyr-like, with dark, jade eyes and are often covered with leaves and other foliage.
They’re known to be tricksters, so forest visitors should be wary. Leshiye do not like to be bothered by humans, so they live deep within their forests; however, when bothered, they are known to erase a traveler’s footprints, so the human becomes lost in their forest.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannia, the Leshy can be identified by the following, “…though he often has the appearance of a man, his eyebrows, eyelashes, and right ear are missing, his head is somewhat 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, he shrinks to the size of grass.” Though, I must say a man covered in live vegetation would probably be easy to recognize as a Leshy.
Still, others claim it is easier to hear or even feel the presence of a Leshy than spot one. In “Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore” the author states, “His voice might imitate the rustle of the leaves or the sighting of the wind in the trees.” People claim that when the forest feels as if it were closing in on you, or as if the very trees were watching you, then a Leshy is not too far away.
People have met their deaths by the Lord of the Forest, fore the creature has led people astray, lured them to dangerous spots, kidnapped women and even tickled them to death…which is strangely macabre and adorable all at once….
Thankfully, even YOU, the fantasy traveler, can prevent a Leshy attack by simply adhering to the following guidelines:
- Carry some bread to give as a gift (Leshiye love carbs)
- Wear one’s clothes inside out or backwards (they think this is hilarious and that often breaks their malicious intentions)
- Provide them with squirrels (this one has not been tested but Leshiye have gambled one another for winning the other’s forest squirrels which is why you see squirrels darting from one tree to another)
Conway, D. J. Magickal, Mystical Creatures: Invite Their Powers into Your Life. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001. Print.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Leshy.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 20 July 1998. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
Sherman, Josepha. Storytelling: an encyclopedia of mythology and folklore. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2008. Print.