Son Piccino e son Furbetto—They are Little and They are Cunning

In the town of Stresa Italy,  I found an erboreum—an herb store with many wonderful surprises. Two of them were small bars of soap with packaging showing different elementals of the place: Le Fate (fairies) and Lo Gnomo (gnomes). The packaging included a poem and even little bells.

Because elementals are an essential part of the African tradition I am initiated into, I was happy to find these two little soaps. The little bells were a double treat since bells are the main way to access one’s elementals in my practice. The Dagara word Kontomble, (the little people) means “the one who comes to the bell.” In this tradition, it is through a wedded bond with an elemental being that the human is able to divine. We call in our elemental friends by ringing our bells. Here were two elementals on the soaps and their little bells.

The poem written on the gnome soap:

le gnomoLo Gnomo Portafortuna

Son piccino e son furbetto

Mi nascondo nel boschetto

Ma ogni sera con la luna

io ti dono la fortuna

di fortuna e di abbondanza

non ce n’è mai abbastanza


Lucky Charm Gnome

Little and cunning

I hide in the grove

But every night with the moon

I give you the good fortune

Of luck and abundance

And there is never enough

The poem written on le fate:

le fateLe Fate

Quando il primo bambino rise

La sua risate si infranse in

Mille piccoli pezzi che si dispersero

Scintillando per tutto il mondo

..così nacquero le fate


The Fairies

When the first baby laughed

His laughter broke in

A thousand little pieces that were scattered

Sparking all around the world

This is how the fairies were born

da “Peter Pan,” di James M. Barrie

The, fata, fae, fairies—elementals–gnomes, are found in every culture. Remembering and renewing our relationship to these beings is essential to the health of this planet.

~Theresa C. Dintino



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