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Puck The personal name of a nature spirit in the folklore of Britain, Ireland and Wales known for his mischievous and trickster ways. In medieval times, under the influence of Christianity, Puck was associated with the DEVIL, as were all pagan deities and spirits.
In folklore, puck is a term; for a type of spirit. Shakespeare popularized it as the name of a character in his play A Midsummer Night's Dream. A puck is also known as a puca, pouk, phouka and pwca (Welsh). Puck's traits correspond also to those of the pixie or piskey of England's West Country lore.
Puck is a shape-shifter and is often seen as a black animal or a black half-animal. He is most often depicted as a misleader, especially leading travelers astray. When he is so inclined, he favors humans by enabling them to understand animal speech and by protecting them from evil spirits. If treated well, household pucks, like brownies, will clean up the house during the night and also do yard work. Ungrateful people invoke Puck's wrath. He also bedevils grave robbers.
In Christianized English lore, Puck was viewed as having a particularly malicious nature and was equated with the Devil. Hell was called "Puck's Pinfold." Puck is also known as Robin Goodfellow, another type of BOGEY, or wicked spirit, who was popular in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. Rudyard Kipling, however, portrayed him as a nature spirit in "Puck of Pooks Hill."
To contemporary Witches, Puck is seen more in his original form as an "Old One" and a spirit of the land. English Witch PADDY SLADE, who has a special relationship with Puck, says of him:
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