Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Fairy Control Measures

Wayford Woods, Somerset

What would Sir Arthur Conan Doyle say? It seems there's a veritable plague o' fairies down in Somerset. Or rather, a case of unchecked fairy home development.

Hundreds of fairy doors have been attached to the bases of trees in Wayford Woods, Crewkerne. 
It is claimed the doors have been installed by local people so children can "leave messages for the fairies". 
But trustee Steven Acreman said: "We've got little doors everywhere. We're not anti-fairies but it's in danger of getting out of control."

Twee overload, I feel. But in a way this restores my faith in humanity, a bit. After all, who'd have thought little kids would leave messages to fairies in hollow trees?

Wayford Woods, Somerset

So, fairies. Where do you stand? Choosing my words carefully, I admit that I am not by any means a fairy expert. But they're as valid (in the sense of traditional) as any other supernatural or paranormal entities, I suppose. 

I can't recall an episode of The X-Files dealing with fairy folk, but that's probably because they were never allowed into the puritan New England colonies. It's worth noting, though, that in Hawthorne's classic The Scarlet Letter Hester's love-child Pearl is presented as a fairy-like being. 

And here I am, a grown man, writing about fairies. Weird, eh? Anyway, here's another recent news item about people in Northern Ireland who say that the wee folk will be annoyed if us big folk move their sacred bushes. A 'fairy thorn' has been growing unmolested at a golf club since before it opened in 1893. In a way it's like crazy golf, I suppose. Only instead of a little windmill...

"When people visit the club we have to warn them about the fairy thorn. We tell them to nod to it as they go past and they have to apologise if they hit it."

And here's a 1964 report of the problems caused when a fairy thorn was removed. It's clear that fairy traditions were still very much alive then. 

Let's round off with elves and trolls in Iceland, because it's fun.

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