Fairies have been around in our stories and legends for many years. Their lore exists in every country of the world in some form or another. Books have been written on them, places have been said to be inhabited by them, people even claim to have seen them.
Fairies, just like any fantastical creature born in the imaginations of men and women, can be whatever we wish them to be, take on whatever form we fancy, speak and do the things the writers of their stories make them speak and do. It’s hard to pin down characteristics of a group of creatures who have been seen in so many different lights.
But then again, that’s the beauty of them, too.
Here are some fun things rumored of fairies.
- Freckles are really just the kisses of fairies.
- Fairies live where there is the least chance of human contact – in forests, up trees, in hollow places, on mountainsides, and even – in some stories – in invisible realms right among humankind.
- Fairies love honey cake, milk, nectar, and sweet butter.
- Fairies watch over and protect the natural world – woodlands, trees, rivers and growing things.
- Many fairies like to play practical (and sometimes not-so-practical) jokes on humans and even each other.
- Iron negates a fairies’ magical powers and causes them pain.
- A sudden chill breeze, or ripples across the surface of water, are often indications that a fairy is nearby.
- Fairies can live to be hundreds of years old.
- Rheumatism in a human is sometimes said to be the result of pinches from angry fairies.
- Fairies are magical by nature.
- Fairies love to dance.
- Many legends claim fairies are prone to kidnapping human babies, leaving a changeling in its place.
- The oldest and strongest fairies are fallen angels.
- Some fairies were once humans who simply got lost in fairyland.
- Fairies are quick to do you a favor … and even quicker to demand payment for it.
- Other terms for fairy: fae, wee folk, fair folk, elf, pixie, nymph, sprite, gnome, imp, leprechaun, brownie, hob, sylph, enchanter.
As a reader, I never tire of discovering the different versions of fairies that storytellers come up with. As a writer, I look forward to perhaps trying my own hand at writing something new about fairies someday. If you could create a new characteristic, attitude, role or practice for the fair folk, what would it be?