The Leshii is the sprit of the forest in Slavic folklore.
Every forest has its own Leshii who lives deep within the trees with his wife and children. The Leshii normally takes the form of a man with hair and beard of leaves, grass and vines, but he can also take on the shape of any animal or plant - from a tall tree, to a single blade of grass.
The Leshii is the guardian of the forest and protects all the animals living there. He is thought to be an evil spirit by some but is, in fact, more like a tricksy fairy in nature.
He does enjoy misguiding travellers and leaving them lost within the woods, but if he is befriended, however, he will pass on his vast knowledge of magic.
If there is more than one Leshii in a single forest then they will fight violently to claim the territory as their own, leaving a trail of fallen trees and scared animals.
When travelling through the forest it is sensible to take a gift of bread for the Leshii to ward off his troublesome nature.