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Trasgu

by Olga Gomez
El Trasgu. Trasgus are typical from Asturian folklore, but in fact they are known in all the country (Spain) under the less regional appellative of "trasgos". In others parts of Europe, they are known as "lutin", "follet", "kobold" or "puck". Trasgos are horned and have a tail; they also walk with a limp, but this doesn't mean they are not agile. In fact, they really are! As they are of the family of imps ("duendes" in Spanish, or "lutins" in French), they are small (70 to 90 cm tall), wear a red, pointed hood or hat, and are happy, noisy lads who like joking. Trasgos live in old houses, and are specially fond on those with a big garret or lumber room. They are not sentimentally attached to the building, but to the family that inhabits there, and the trasgo will follow the family if it moves to another place. Trasgos love any kind of domestic work, but they must be repaid with food and warmth, otherwise they can become very angry. They will then awake sleeping people, displace any object in the house or break dishes. Most of all, they are very greedy, and will steal any sweet that can be found in the house.

That is why some people want to get rid of them. The only way is to shame the trasgu, who believes himself very clever. There are two means to do that:

  1. Ask him to count objects. As he knows only numbers from 1 to 12, he will be furious not to be able to go further, and will walk away
  2. Ask him to perform three impossible tasks, that is fill a nest with water, turn white some black lamb's wool and pick up some grain with his left hand - what he cannot do because this hand has a hole in it. Again, the trasgo gets ashamed and, infuriated, leaves the house.

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