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Duendes or Los Menos

Duendes and Los Menos, are mythical beings very similar to elves, gnomes, sprites or goblins. They are very mischievous creatures that like to play jokes on people.

Interpretation of Duenes by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu. Watch out, here they come!
Interpretation of Duenes by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu. Watch out, here they come!

Duendes are very similar to other mischievous creatures such as elves, gnomes, sprites or goblins. They enjoy playing jokes on people. They can be both good and bad creatures all depending on their moods. Small but noisy, they can be very bothersome. They are many times blamed for strange noises in a home.

Duendes are known to drop stones on porches just to annoy. They can be heard running in the night and like to giggle and laugh loudly. Duendes like to make things disappear, move things around or change them completely. If a fire in the hearth goes out, gets too high or sparks it is always the fault of a duende. They are just a big nuisance.

Duendes are not tall. They are said to be the size of a small boy. It may have the height of the boy but its face is wrinkled like an old man. They usually wear some type of red clothing and usually can be found in groups of no more than five. Even though they travel in groups they are almost impossible to be seen. These fun-loving little imps are invisible to humans only unless they want to be seen. They make themselves visible usually only when there is no sun or at dawn. It is said that only children and simple-minded people can see them and when they do it usually makes them cry.

Los Menos

seem to prefer nature and freedom more than being inside but they can live in many places. They like caves, old tree trunks and hidden places under stones. They like hidden corners of a home, in the attic, or in warehouses. They are known to play with crickets and torture butterflies. They enjoy dancing by the light of the moon.

Los Menos are known to take children that are not baptized. If they do take a child, usually it is a boy. They will take the child deep into the mountains or countryside and turn this child into one of them. If the child has been baptized and they took it by accident, they will set it free in the mountains where there are no people. Here the child will roam and get lost.

So, if you feel that there is someone watching you from the darkness. Maybe you see a quick flicker of eyes in the dark or hear a little giggle and feet scampering. You could be being stalked by the mischievous unseen Duende, waiting to see what turmoil he can cause….