Why I may be impish

 An imp is a mischievous sprite in folklore. The Girl Guides have a section, the Brownies, where each pack is divided into sixes. When I joined the Brownies I was put (without the use of a sorting hat) into the Gnomes. Each six was named after a different sort of “little person”. The Gnome emblem showed a figure with a sweeping broom (not a besom as favoured by witches). Now woodland creatures are an alternative.
An Elf and a Brownie
When I became a Sixer, due to seniority rather than any leadership skills, I was moved to the Elves. There were also Fairies and Pixies in our pack. At the Brownie Revels and other events where we met with other packs, there were Sprites (the drink was not yet invented), Leprechauns and perhaps more beside.
In those days adults used to make remarks to children in passing, whether they knew them or not. They might call them rascals, scamps or imps. How customs have changed in many parts of Britain!

While I was never officially an Imp, I have been known to be mischievous – the chief quality associated with imps. (Puck in Puck of Pook’s Hill and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a literary example.)

At Scargill House during a painting weekend I recently attended, a short (optional) creative writing workshop was led by a community member, who joined ACW following the Writers’ weekend with Adrian and Bridget Plass. One of the exercises he set was to write a rhyme using the structure, “I’d rather be …than …”.

Here is mine. Some of the lines were dictated by rhyming rather than truth!

I’d rather…

I’d rather be chilly than hot;
I’d rather be silly than not!
I’d rather be dry than wet;
I’d rather be wobbly than set.

I’d rather be still than fizzy;
I’d rather be calm than in a tizzy.
I’d rather be listening than speaking;
I’d rather be whispering than shrieking.

So a little silliness:-

There are lots of impish attributes I wish to avoid:
impropriety, imprecision, impoliteness, becoming impoverished in the ideas department, self-importance, impertinence, impetuousness, being implicated, impatience.

There are some I cannot avoid, although I could work on reducing their impact: imperfection, impressionableness, wishing to impress.

I hope I have imparted some important ideas. It is not imperative that you laugh at the next sentence, but I implore you to beware of imps!

Some things I should remember are that timpani are kettle-drums, chimpanzees are apes, limp lettuce is not inspiring, and simply to trust God, who hears my imprecations.

Susan Sanderson blogs at Sue's Trifles and Sue's words and pictures. She began blogging 5 years ago on her first blog Sue's considered trifles. Follow her on Twitter @suesconsideredt


  1. Loved your poem and also remembering my times as a Brownie. A Pixie I seem to rember. Thank you for your blog.

  2. Thank you for your kind comment, Shirley.


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