Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Fair Folk

I saw some pictures of signs from a radical Islamic rally in Europe and was going to write about my reaction. But I realized that my writing has tended toward the negative and wanted to write with inspiration from a different muse. So, today I will write about faeries.

Let me start by saying that yes, I believe in faeries. If you don't, I am sorry for you. And just so you don't think I am the only adult in the world who does, my best friend from college had the habit of always leaving a french fry from our fast food outings for the fairer folk. So, there are at least two of us nut jobs out there. I wish I would have left more than one fry. It could have cut down on the weight I had to lose post college.

My favorite portrayal of faeries is from The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. They are the most innocent and beautiful creatures in the world. The problem is, they are almost too sweet. Anyone who knows anything about faeries knows they can be quite vicious if they choose to be. According to j.M. Barry, they mean no harm. They are just so small, they only have enough room for one emotion at a time.

Tinker Bell is probably the most famous named fairy. I would guess the Tooth Fairy is the most famous of all, but we don't know what she calls herself or if this is a title of a group of faeries or one lone little gal. Little has been written about the Tooth Fairy (or faeries). I know of notes left behind that tell what she looks like and what she does with all those teeth. But they have never been authenticated or compiled as far as I know.

According to Mark Twain, Joan of Ark also believed in faeries, so Kathleen and I are at least in good company. At a very young age, while she was in the midst of a fever, the local village faeries were caught by a snooping old woman dancing around their tree. A hundred or so years before, the priest had banned the faeries from ever showing themselves. The priest in Joan's day was forced to ban them forever from the tree. When Joan regained her senses and discovered what awful fate had been cast upon the faeries, she immediately went to the priest. She complained to him that it was not their fault they were come upon just as it would not be his fault if someone came upon him in the bath. The priest was overcome with remorse and asked Joan how he could atone. He suggested Sack Cloth and ashes. She agreed that would be fine if he thought it fit the crime, until he bent down to the fire place to put the ashes on his head. She had no idea what the penance meant and was aghast that the priest should have to endure it. She quickly scooped up the ash and dumped it on her own head and asked if that would suffice. He assured her it most certainly would from behind a hidden smile.

Disney has made a new group of faeries popular. They are the Never Land Faeries. These are the stories of Mother Dove and all of the friends of Tinker Bell. I like the Never Land Faeries, but like the Smurfs before them, they are a little too communistic for my taste. Every fairy has a talent (Tink is a pots and pans fixing fairy, thus her name). Others are baking talent, water talent, animal talent, etc. They make for good stories, but I find it to be a bit too orderly for such free spirited creatures.

If you were wondering, faeries are born, by the most believable accounts, from the pure first laugh of a child. There are male faeries, called sparrow men. Faeries can speak to children in dreams. It is unclear if unbelief causes them harm, but as a sighting of an actual fairy has not occurred in a very long while, I would say it is likely. They seem to be more common in the regions of England and Ireland. Perhaps they like rain.

If you were hoping for a "how to" to attract faeries to your own garden, this post will not be helpful. We have made fairy gardens in our own yard and you can find suggestions on the internet of what to include to appeal to them. I frankly think it is more a matter of luck. I think the best way to get a fairy near your home seems to be the tried and true way of losing a tooth or of having a home filled with the pure laughter of a child. I can't help but think they are attracted to the likeness of their origin.

You can also do research on how to know if you have a fairy near by. Just google it. If you find no signs of fairy activity, perhaps you killed them all off one day last summer when you thought to yourself in a moment of weakness, "I don't believe in faeries."

Faeries are magical, of that I am sure. They are not purely good and they certainly are not pure evil. They can be wonderfully, marvelously good and they can be spiteful as hell. A lot like humans if you ask me. So, you don't believe in faeries. Maybe you don't believe in humanity either. And maybe, just maybe, that is why I still do.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to read your next blog. Btw, while I still believe, I no longer leave even a crumb on my plate. However, the faeries would be able to find a 12-course meal on the floor of my car on a regular basis.