Sprites are often depicted as fairy-like creatures.

Wikipedia on water sprites

A water sprite (also called a water fairy or water faery) is a general term for an elemental spirit associated with water, according to alchemist Paracelsus. Water sprites are said to be able to breathe water or air and sometimes can fly. They are mostly harmless unless threatened.
These creatures exist in mythology of various groups. Ancient Greeks knew water nymphs in several types such as naiads (or nyads), which were divine entities that tended to be fixed in one place and so differed from gods or physical creatures. Slavic mythology knows them as vilas. Water sprites differ from corporeal beings, such as selkies and mermaids, as they are not purely physical and are more akin to local deities than animals.