Piskies are the Cornish version of pixies, cousins to leprechauns and brownies. Like most of these creatures, piskies can be kind and helpful to people in need but they are also mischievous creatures. The Cornish say that if you annoy the piskies their revenge is to leave you lost and confused on the moors, this is known as being piskie-led.
Last Friday, we visited some friends who live on a farm about 10 miles from Liskeard in Cornwall and the wretched piskies seemed to have had it in for us right from the start. We set out at 09.00 in bright sunshine, with good weather forecast for the rest of the day, so we decided to drive across Dartmoor. After about an hour, a thick mist came down, accompanied a few minutes later by driving rain and howling winds. The moor is a very hostile place in bad weather and, with visibility down to a few feet and navigation not the strongest of my skills (yes, I turn the map round to see where I'm going!), I was glad that the Master Mariner was with me. Another hour on, we crossed the Tamar into Cornwall and sunshine. Ours was the only car with windscreen wipers and headlights on, the storm had obviously been our own private piskie mischief.
After a pleasant few hours with our friends, we decided to drive home by a different route, this time across Bodmin Moor but the pesky piskies were waiting there too. As we left the farm, we saw a signpost showing Liskeard 3 miles; we are used to country miles so we weren't too worried when we found ourselves still in the middle of farmland fifteen minutes later. We carried on along the same road until we saw another signpost, showing 'Liskeard 7 miles' and we knew it was going to be a long journey home.........
Warning: when planning a trip to Cornwall remember that piskies can sense scepticism.