Stray Sod (Family: Herbiformidae)EditThe stray sod is a troublesome creature whose entire purpose seems to be leading travelers astray. These faeries wander about in open fields and grassy areas and can occur in large numbers. Many consider the stray sod to be a subspecies of the pixie. Others suppose that stray sod are not pixies at all but are created by pixie magic. If this is so, it is unclear if stray sod are aware of their effect on humans.
If a human inadvertently steps on stray sod, that person loses all sense of direction.' The disorientation takes effect the instant a foot is placed on the creature's back and lasts for hours. Victims have been known to wander around their own neighborhood with no hope of finding their
way. Landmarks appear missing or in the wrong places, roads look unfamiliar and everything is strange. People have even become lost in their own front yards.
Eventually the effect wears off; however, the spell can be broken immediately by turning clothing inside out or by carrying a piece of bread in a pocket.
- Wandering Clump (Caespes ridiculus)
- Stray Sod (Caespes aberrans)
- Stray Tuft (Caespes insignificans)
Stray Sods can change color at will, not unlike the chameleon.
They are not as intelligent as Pixies, but they are just as cunning.
Many Sod species have ridged pads on the palms of their hands, which aid the ability to grasp things.
Known Stray SodsEditArthur Spiderwick encountered several Stray Sods during his work with the Field Guide. One little Caespes ridiculus "hopped about in a clumsy fashion and was sighted in a pasture". A Caespes insignificans "was found in an old field near the estate". It "chirped frequently, sounding like a mix between a cricket and a frog".
A number of Stray Sods had been placed outside the Elven Grove by the Elves who lived there to disorient travelers and make them go another way. This was discovered by the Grace children when they went looking for their great-great-uncle who had been imprisoned by the Fey. Jared had been turning his red hoodie inside out when he dressed in the morning, and therefore was he the only one who noticed that they walked in circles. When he saw a tuft of grass moving, he realized that they were walking on Stray Sods. He tried to bend Simon's shirt inside out, but he struggled. Mallory had turned her shirt inside out and helped Jared.
Behind the scenesEditIn modern fantasy literature, a Stray Sod is a clump of grass enchanted by Faeries. Anyone who steps on it becames disoriented and lost, even in familiar surroundings. The concept seems to originate in Celtic mythology, especially Irish folklore.
In other writing sources and in speech, the phrase "stepped on a Stray Sod" is used metaphorically to denote sudden and apparently unexplained disorientation.