Help finding a fairy story . . .

My grandfather used to tell stories of a fairy of a rather wicked bent that would steal children. That fairy’s name was Momo. I once found this fairy described in a compendium of Welsh fairies as being one that would steal children and I believe, horses.

Does anyone have a reference book on fairies or know where a fellow might find more information on a fairy, Momo in particular?


Here is a pretty extensive list of fairytales and descriptions.

I found no reference to Momo in Katherine Briggs’s An Encyclopedia of Fairies HOBGOBLIINS, BROWNIES, BOGIES, AND OTHER SUPERNATURAL CREATURES. Her work is pretty thorough for the British Isles and Ireland. A web search turned up a recent Japanese anime character, a sasquatch-like critter in Missouri, and the (Italian) heroine of the eponymous novel by Michael Ende.

Briggs’s book does refer to a Mumpoker:

Given that it appeared to be Welsh, can you think of any alternative spellings?

Are you sure it is Welsh fairy? There is a slavic one called Mamuna (pl. Mamuny), well known for kidnaping. Maybe your grandfather changed or distorted name somewhat.

I’ll check alternate spellings in book when back at home.

Moved to CS.

General Questions Moderator

Given that Momo is definitely not a Welsh name and nothing is turning up on a Google search, can you provide the title or author of this compendium?

Perhaps the Bendith y Mamau ?

Curse you TomnDeb for referencing an out of print book. ARGGGGH!
(Yeah, I could get it from Amazon, but…still…)

Most of my faerie references are in storage (I’ve got Keightley’s “Faerie Mythology” as well as a few others). Here’s a link to an online version, but I don’t see “Momo” mentioned in the Table of Contents. I think my book had an index, but I don’t currently have access to it.

It’s very possible that it’s spelled differently.

The only “Momo” that comes to mind is This “Simpsons” episode with Helen Hunt.

No help at all, is it?

Thanks for the help guys. My grandfather was first generation Irish, i.e. a narrowback. More Irish than the Irish, he was a fireman on the South Side of Chicago with a propensity to drink and tell stories. The stories include a ton of superstitious type stuff, pictures falling off walls the day someone dies, unseen beings blowing out candles, and Momo (or however is spellled). He’d show up at the basement apartment my parents had when I was very young and have a nip while telling my mother stories of Momo and that she had better watch that I would become a stolen child. This was more than 35 years ago.

Anyway, the one time I found a reference to Momo/Mamau at all was as a Welsh faerie that liked to take horses for a joy ride. I think that Kairos has it though. One thought is that my great grandfather did work in the mines of Cornwall before emigrating. Perhaps the story was picked up at that point and brought to the US.

Thanks for the help.