Twenty two years ago, on the day I moved into my very own home, I was standing on a step ladder to hang an herbal charm in the kitchen, accompanied by a chant. I heard a gasp behind me and looked over my shoulder. There was a little man sitting on the chair by the basement door.
Well, I've seen ghosts, but this was not human. I turned to face him and said hello. He got a big look of surprise on his face and in the blink of an eye, he vanished and the basement door (which was locked with a sliding bolt) flew open, slamming the door against the wall, then swung back in place from the force. I can't imagine the look on my own face. I presume the fellow had gone down the basement, and was scared of me and not used to being seen. I let myself think several days about what to do and how we were to live peacefully. The house had been empty of people a few months. He was here first and had some rights, and so did I.
So, I made a sun catcher with beads and prisms as a friendly offering and announced my intentions before actually going down the basement steps. I put the offering in a window and spoke out loud, saying my intent to live upstairs and he could be in the basement without interference unless I had to tend to furnace. I asked if that was ok. Then waited.
A pair of black, glaring eyes appeared in front of me, then his feet and upward slowly forming up to his head. This is what he looked like: three feet tall, brown face seamed with creases; round, cole black eyes; a long, pointed nose, thin lips. He had Long brown hair matted with twigs and leaves, that hung to his knees; Skinny legs, bare feet with extra large big-toe, and three smaller toes. His arms were thin as tree branches, with two long fingers and an opposing thumb.
I asked if I could take the folding chair that was leaning against a wall. In a grumpy voice he said to go ahead because I would anyways. So I did, but I brought the chair he had been sitting on in the kitchen in exchange to the basement. It had been beside the basement door because I meant to take it down. When I brought the chair down, I saw him sitting on the floor, hands on knees, staring up at the sun catcher. He ignored me so I didn't bother him, just left the chair.
Some months later I was puttering in the garden and heard his grumpy voice by the side of the house ask if I was about finished yet. I replied that I needed a few more minutes, then finished what I was doing, and left. A few days later I bought a child sized, plastic Adirondack chair and put it near where I'd heard his voice.
When the plumber had to come and replace the water heater, I explained the visit before the plumber arrived. And on it goes. We don't bother each other.