leslie's guiding traditions
Traditionally, each Six had their own badge, and from c1918 to 1966, their own rhyme. In the earliest days of Brownies, the Sixes were named after trees, but by 1918 the 'fairy folk' were making their appearance. Initially, Bwbachod, Elf, Fairy, Gnome, Imp, Kelpie, Leprechaun, Little People, Pixie, Sprite, Tylwyth Teg, joined by Ghillie Dhu in the late 1920s, to even up the numbers of Irish, Welsh and Scottish Six names. In 1968 Fairy, Little People and Tylwyth Teg were dropped from the options. And in the 2000s the option of animal Sixes was introduced - Badger, Fox, Mole, Rabbit, Squirrel.
Prior to 1968 each Six had a rhyme, which was sung as part of the pack's opening ceremony. (A series of stories was written by author Freda Collins to tell the story behind each rhyme, but they were written long after the rhymes had been chosen. The rhymes below are as given the "The Brownie Book", 1966 edition (the Brownie Handbook).
We're the Bwbachod from Wales,
Filling farmer's milking pails.
This is what we do as Elves,
Think of others not ourselves.
We're the Fairies glad and gay,
Helping others every day.
Ghillie Dhu it is our name.
We guard the bairns and lead them hame.
(Ghillie Dhu is a Scottish Gaelic name, which translates as 'black gamekeeper').
Here you see the laughing Gnomes,
Helping mother in our homes.
We're the ever-helpful Imps,
Quick and quiet as any shrimps.
We're the little Scottish Kelpies,
Smart and quick and ready helpers.
We're the Irish Leprechaun,
Guiding strangers when forlorn.
We, though known as 'Little People',
Aim as high as any steeple.
Look out! We're the jolly Pixies,
Helping people when in fixes.
Here we come, the sprightly Sprites,
Brave and helpful like the knights.
We're from Wales, the Tylwyth Teg,
Dance and work and never beg.