SPARE CHANGE? DRY CLOTHES? A "water fairy"* has been arrested for panhandling. The economy is really getting worse than we thought, I guess. Via Prague Monitor.

Now a question for non-Czech speaking non-Czechs: have you ever heard of a "water fairy" or a "water sprite"? Or even a "water nymph"? I remember my first Czech teacher becoming quite annoyed with me when I smiled politely but blankly at her attempts to get through my skull just what a "water man", as she called one, was. Whichever, water sprite/fairy/nymph/man, I've never met an English speaking person who was familiar with this particular mythical character. Many of our fairy tales are imported from central Europe. Why is this character so well known here and so little known in English speaking countries?

*or, Vodnik. A guy dressed in green who lives underwater in your village pond and comes out at night to make mischief and smoke his pipe. Useful myth for parents who want to scare their kids into staying out of the pond.

Steve | 11:40 |