|Body type||Molluskan / Mammalian|
|Lifespan||Millions of years|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||Five Children and It|
|Created by||Edith Nesbit|
|Performed by||Eddie Izzard (2004 film)|
The Psammead, also known as Sand Fairy, is a sapient magical creature once encountered by five children in a gravel pit which had once been a littoral area. The creature is most notable for its ability to grant wishes of any number and any kind; however the wishes will last only for the remaining of the day, and disappear with the next sunrise.
The Psammead is a short, rotund creature with long mobile eyestalks, large ears resembling those of a bat, and numerous whiskers on its snout. It has a round body covered in soft black fur and four limbs, each ending in a paw like that of a monkey. The creature is extremely long-lived; its memories dating back to the Mesozoic era. It's also capable of speaking English somehow.
Despite living close to the sea, members of this species are extremely sensitive to water, and will usually die from cold if they get wet. They dig up very deep burrows in the dry sand to keep the sea away. When a Psammead is about to grant a wish, it first holds its breath, inflates its body and releases air from its mouth.
It claims that in prehistoric times the species was extremely numerous and people had the habit of seeking out a Psammead every morning to get their daily wishes, which usually included some large kind of animal to make a meal of.
It also tells that the habit of children making sandcastles started because they wished to build homes for the Psammeads. However that well-intentioned gesture ultimately brought their demise, as many of them got wet and died when the sea came towards the castles.
- Five Children and It, by Edith Nesbit (1902) (First appearance)
- The Phoenix and the Carpet, by Edith Nesbit (1904) (Mentioned only)
- The Story of the Amulet , by Edith Nesbit (1906)
- Onegai! Samia-don (1985 - 1986)
- Five Children and It, a.k.a. The Sand Fairy (1991)
- The Return of the Psammead (1993)
- Five Children and It (2004)
- In the 2004 movie, the Psammead gives his scientific classification as Crustacea Anostraca Decapodlium Anthropodolous wishasarus. This would make him a distant relative of the brine shrimp.