This description of the Woodland Fey was found on one of a series of clay tablets attributed to the Sumerian prophetess Bawa, the Great Bitter One of Nippur.
The Bestiary of Bawa Mara, the great seer of Nippur. Translated from Sumerian by Pieter Uys.
Blessed be the civilized land of Shumer, blessed in its very poverty. For Shumer lacketh wood and bush and tree, yea, only of reed and rush and grain it hath aplenty. The good land of red clay, the fertile soil watered by Buradun and Idiŋna. Idiŋn a. For with tree cometh spirit, yea, wood sheltereth many and verily be not every denizen of good intention nor of kindly disposition.
In northern climes many thick forests be, where-in a multitude of sparks thou canst see. At night the unwary traveller trave ller be lured by moving lights, ne’er to return from mystical sights. Indeed, in the lands of ɧatti and Aratta, manifold be the inhabitants of the multiple woods and the murky forests. And none so sinister, nay, so mysterious and perilous as the Woodland Fey. What it be, no human knoweth, may haps the Inittu be aware but it wouldeth not say. Take care then, ye visitor, amongst the trees not to stray. Of the spirit type of the Woodland Fey, it is impossible to determine. The old wise ones warned only to desist from following its sinister trail of glimmers deep into the dark heart of the woods. Where it fits or what it be, they knew not nor do we. Only that it wieldeth enchantments, yea, it lureth by glitters to places devoid of daylight, warned they, it collecteth the ones so ensnared in abodes out of time. The ancient sages marvelled, by amulets the wood folk warded off its siren trail, by spells the forest people kept it at bay. “ Tis a shapeshifter demon, demon,” ‘
intimated the ancient shamen of the ɧatti, “ Tis not unlike a netherwordly ‘
spider ,” hinted the sorcerers of Aratta, “ Ts true form be known only in heaven ‘
and in the abyss, abyss,” claimed the wandering necromancers of the ancient days, trembling in dread. Yet harmeth it no creature but man, and only the unwary and the unwise, for there be enchantments to keep it away, yea verily precious stones to keep it at bay. In Shumer we know not the words in those tongues, nay, but the Tiger Eye Gem it cannot abide, we know, it feareth the Tiger Stone.
All that glittereth glittereth be not gold. Take Take care lest ye be by greed greed betrayed, betrayed, take care lest ye be by glimmer and glamour ensnared. For the glitter and glam oft lead to darkness, yea, the blink and the twinkle oft be a snare, the doorway to the abode of the dead. Must needs ye pass by the woods? Be then prepared with the weapon that wardeth, be armed with the shield that deflecteth.
Translated from Sumerian by Pieter Uys From: The Bestiary of Bawa Mara, Mara , the great seer of Nippur