Ann loves to write poetry and also enjoys responding to prompts. A challenge is always interesting!
Brenda has set another single word prompt to fire our imagination. 'Fairy' conjures up all sorts of images in my mind, most of all in connection with children and children's stories. So here is my contribution.
Do you Believe in Fairies?
There are thousands of stories about fairies. Myths and legends since time immemorial have been told and retold in various guises and styles, to entertain, delight, enchant or even frighten (though that’s less often). Fairies should be harbingers of wonder, laughter and salvation.
In my experience children, especially little girls, love fairies. Maybe boys like them too, for the sheer mystery of them, but they don’t seem to be so mesmerised by them.
Of course, Peter Pan had his Tinkerbell in J M Barrie’s play of 1904, subsequently to become a novel and a film. She was a bit of a nuisance to him though!
I love the idea of a fairy. They are supposed to be benign, though sometimes mischievous. They bring fun, joy, excitement and they are small, thereby appealing to younger children.
My poem is meant to reflect that appeal and the enchantment of fairies.
Fairy-light sparkles behind a three-year-old’s eyes
as you read the story.
A forest full of rainbow dainties flutter from the page
and she flashes a glance from deep pools of enquiry,
begging for it to be true.
You nod, ‘I believe in them. We’ll look in the woods
as we walk tomorrow.’
A forest full of excitement flitters in her heart –
and yours – as you think of the fairies of the wood,
begging for recognition.
Her new dawn awakes, she is early to rise
as her dream remains.
A forest full of sparkling raindrops window-patter, each
alive within, gossamer-winged dainties confined,
begging to be freed.
She walks with you into the woods, daring to hope,
as her search begins.
A forest full of branches holds the bubble drops
and one by one, pop! pop! she lets them loose,
begging for her reward -
to see her fairies dance in the air, glittering
before a three-year-old’s eyes,
a forest full of deep pools of belief cascading with joy,
begging to hold the magic,
a magic in her heart, and yours, forever.
Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, was taken in by a series of five photos of The Cottingley Fairies, as they became known. They were supposed to have been seen in a garden and subsequently photographed by two girl cousins who lived near Bradford in Yorkshire, England.
Conan Doyle was a spiritualist and took them to be genuine evidence that fairies existed. He thought that if he could convince people that fairies did exist, they would be more likely to accept other spiritual beliefs.
As adults, the girls acknowledged that the photographs were fakes, though one remained adamant that the final photo was genuine. In 1978 a magician concluded that they were fakes as strings could be seen to be supporting the figures. Both girls finally admitted that the whole thing was a ruse but that they didn’t want to expose Conan Doyle to ridicule.
Fairy rings fascinate me. I’ve often seen those rings of darker grass within a field or even garden, sometimes more than one together. I didn’t know what produced them, so looked it up, and good old wikipedia informed me that:
“A fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. They are found mainly in forested areas, but also appear in grasslands or rangelands. Fairy rings are detectable by sporocarps (fungal spore pods) in rings or arcs, as well as by a necrotic zone (dead grass), or a ring of dark green grass. Fungus mycelium is present in the ring or arc underneath. The rings may grow to over 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground.”
Also the subject of folklore and myths around the world, but particularly in Western Europe, they are linked with good and bad.
When children are young and their first replacement tooth is about to come through, they are often distressed at the fact that the original wobbles and they might become frightened when they’re told it will fall out and be replaced by a new one growing from underneath.
The perfect way to allay their fears, or at least to give the child an incentive to be more optimistic and calm, is to tell them about the tooth fairy. When the ejected ‘baby’ tooth has been put under the child’s pillow that night, the tooth fairy will visit, take away the tooth and replace it with a coin, to be found by the child in the morning.
I once explained that to my godson who was crying at the prospect of his tooth coming out and maybe bleeding. As soon as money was mentioned, the tears miraculously disappeared. He received his money the next morning and couldn’t wait for the next one to fall out!
Fairy Lights on the Christmas Tree
Dainty little lights on a long wire are wrapped around the branches of a Christmas tree and switched on. They are varied in colour and flash or twinkle, or follow some predetermined pattern of light. I believe that no Christmas tree is complete without fairy lights.
I’m just a big kid, and yes, I do believe in fairies.
© 2021 Ann Carr