Hope that you are enjoying the story

(Adapted from The Brownies by Mrs. Ewing)

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Presently they heard the uncanny hoo-hooting of the owl among the trees. It sounded so weird that for a moment they stood still and felt inclined to turn and run back home.

But again Betty thought of their chance of learning about the Brownies and she stood her ground, and hearing once more the voice of the owl, which sounded more friendly as they got accustomed to it, they went forward and presently came to the tree in whose branches the owl was sitting.


"Mrs. Owl, Mrs. Owl, we have come to see you," Betty whispered. Oo-hoo-hoo, I am glad to hear it. Climb up the tree, my dears, and sit by me on this branch."

They did so, and snuggled up closely against the soft, warm feathers of the bird. Then they told her their trouble, how they were always being bothered to work when they wanted to play, and how they had heard of the Brownies and wanted to get one to come and live in the house and do the odd jobs for them.


"Oo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" chuckled the Owl.

"You see that pool down there. Go to the north side of it when the moon is bright and then turn round three times and say:

"Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw …"

"To get the finishing word of the rhyme look down into the water and there you will see the Brownie, and her name will fill in the rhyme that you want."

So, when the moon was up, Betty went to the pool and turned herself round three times and cried:

"Twist me and turn me and show me the elf.

I looked in the water and there saw..... "

But she saw nothing at all except her own reflection. So she went back to the Owl and told her how she had seen no one there, but only her own reflection on the water, when she had been hoping to find a Brownie who would come to the house to do all the work.

Then the Owl said, "Did you see no one whose name would make up the rhyme that I gave you?"

Betty said, "No one."

Mrs. Owl asked: "Whom did you see in the water?"

Betty replied, "Only myself".

Then Mrs. Owl said, "Would not the word myself make the rhyme?

Betty thought of the rhyme.

"Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw .... myself"

The Brownie Story,  is taken from The Brownie Guide Handbook, published by The Girl Guides Association 1968