“Poor Little Greenie:” Faeries and Little Green Men

The colour green has always been strangely linked to fairies. Older texts often refer to the Good Folk as being green, but in fact this almost always denotes their clothing colour- just as calling a faery ‘red’ or ‘black’ generally refers to their hair colour rather than saying anything about flesh tone. For example, the Devonshire pixies are reported “to be” green in colour but the same witness also went on to state that, if you wear green, “you’ll soon be mourning,” pretty clearly indicating that she was discussing the pixies’ clothing.

Green garments are a constant in faerylore across Britain and across time. In the Lincolnshire Fens in the east of England, for instance, the local nature spirits were called (amongst other things) the ‘Green Coaties.’  A similar term was used in Lancashire as well- see the references to the ‘Greenies’ in Bowker’s Goblin Tales.

In the Western Isles of Scotland, it was said that it was not advisable to sleep in a house where water for washing had not been put out at night for the fairies.  This was because the “slender one of the green coat” would come with her baby at night and wash it in the milk instead.  What’s notable is not only that the fairy woman (bean sith) is dressed in green but that (as is quite common in Gaelic speaking areas) she is described as “slender.”  This adjective often describes fairy females, perhaps indicating part of their believed allure: their willowy, juvenile bodies (or was it really an allusion to their emaciated, dangerously hungry bodies?) The association with green was especially strong in the Highlands. For instance, in Gaelic songs and prayers we may also find reference to the “slender woman of the green kirtle” (bean chaol a chota uaine) and, more generally, to the “tribe of the green mantles” (luchd nan trasganan uaine);

The trows of Shetland are described as looking like children of three or four years of age, small and ‘pirjink’ (neat) about the legs and clothed in tight green garments with green tapered caps. In Galloway, the story is told of two small boys dressed in green who were born from eggs.  They were said to have looked something like brownies, or mongrel fairies, but sadly they quickly vanished before much more could be learned about them.

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Turning to Wales, the Green Lady of Caerphilly was a beautiful woman dressed in green who was met one day at the castle in the town by a man called Ieuan Owen.  She led him underground and along a very lengthy passage before they emerged beside a lake in a cavern.  There the green lady vanished, but another faery maiden then appeared and led Owen beneath the lake to a wonderful subterranean land.

My last example gives a rather different impression though, and perhaps opens up the possibility of something more sinister. In a Scottish story collected from an old nurse maid, she told how her mother had once nearly been drowned by a fairy being after she had fallen asleep beside a river.  The nurse’s mother awoke from her nap when she felt a tugging at her hair, as if someone or something trying to pull her into the water.  She leapt up, and then saw something “howd (bob) down the water like a green bunch of potato shaws (stalks).”  We can only note and puzzle over this account, which resembles nothing else I know of.  Perhaps the nurse’s mother saw the hair of a water sprite akin to Jenny Greenteeth, or the mane of a kelpie, or perhaps we have a sighting of some unique river faery.

As I have described previously, the greenness of British fairies goes right back to their early medieval origins and the Green Children who were discovered during the twelfth century at Woolpit in Suffolk. In that case, their greenness seemed to relate to their exclusively vegetarian, leguminous diet: Katharine Briggs speculated that their skin tone was the colour of death- although it might equally as well be the colour of Spring growth (if we have to read any symbolism at all into the preference). It might, too, represent their wild, rural nature- as with Robin Hood and his men in ‘Lincoln green.’ Whatever the truth, viridity seems to be a core part of British faery nature.

Fairy Vengeance

Duncan Carse

One of the major perils of crossing the fairies is that they can be very likely to seek vengeance.  They have a vindictive streak, something which is not alleviated at all by their generally indifferent or uncaring attitude towards humankind.  We must add to this the problem that they are immortal: the fairies can wait to get their own back, not just through the perpetrator’s lifetime, but far down the generations (as Professor John Rhys described in Celtic Folklore vol.I, c.VII & vol.II pp.420-25). He speculated whether this delayed gratification was the result of their deathlessness or because some spell prevented prompter action; either way, the fairies can wait and innocent descendants can pay the price for an ancestor’s folly.

Rhys illustrated the vengeful aspect of the faery character with an account from Pantannas, near Beddgelert. A farmer sought to banish the tylwyth teg from his farm by ploughing up all the areas of grass sward (so that, effectively, they had nowhere left to dance). The man immediately began to see apparitions, or hear voices, threatening that Dial a ddaw, ‘Vengeance is coming.’ Soon after, all the farmer’s supply of corn was destroyed by fire, but serious as this loss was, the fairies declared it to be only the beginning of their inexorable and inflexible revenge. The farmer restored the grassy areas and pleaded with the fairies for mercy, and they returned to the land, but the threat of further action was not lifted- it was only postponed to his descendants. A century later, the warning voices were heard again (‘Dial a ddaw‘) and, soon enough, the vengeance was exacted. The son of the family disappeared at night, presumed to have been taken by the tylwyth teg at a fairy ring, and he was not seen again for several generations. When he finally returned, the world was changed and his name was only a dim memory and- as so often happens in Welsh stories- as soon as he touched something in the mortal world, he crumbled away to dust. What we gather from this is that the fairies won’t forget and that, to make matters worse, they are patient, leading to what seems to us humans like harsh and wholly unreasonable punishment meted out against future generations, who may not even understand why they are suffering.

A variety of offences will incur the fairies’ wrath.  I’ve already mentioned their adverse response to disbelief in their existence; other misdemeanours against them include:

  • Attacking the fairies: this is easily the most understandable case, perhaps.  A Norman knight who came upon fairies dancing at Beddgelert sets his hounds upon the happy throng.  His fate was first to get lost.  Then, when he managed to return home, he found his wife with her lover; the two men fought and the malicious knight died (Welsh Outlook, no.11, Nov.1st 1915, 431-2);
  • Even insults to fairies can elicit a severe response: a drunken man on the Isle of Man met some fairies dancing at Laxey. He swore at them and they chased him away by pelting him with gravel. This wasn’t sufficient though: soon his horse and cow died and, within six weeks, he died himself. I’ve mentioned before the Ballad of Mary O’Craignethan, in which a father rescues his kidnapped daughter from the fairy king. This happy outcome is marred, though, by the fact that- in his grief and rage- the father cursed the fairy folk. He is warned that “nane e’er cursed the Seelie Court and ever after thrave.” As predicted, the father dies soon after recovering his beloved Mary;
  • Trespassing on fairy ground: the fairies have been known (at the very least) to blunt farmers’ scythes if they try to mow the grass growing on a fairy ring. In a case reported from South-west Scotland, a farmer’s cow was killed because it had been annoying the fairies by standing on top of their house. Somewhat comparable may be the story of the walnut tree that once grew at Llandyn Hall, Llangollen, around which the faeries met at night to hold their wedding ceremonies.  When it was cut down in the nineteenth century, the faeries took their revenge, it was believed: one of the workmen involved in the felling was killed by a falling branch;
  • Damaging faery goods– usually we read stories in which humans are rewarded for mending broken faery tools. A Devonshire story reverses this. A boy found a pixie peel (baking implement) in a field. He broke it, saying “The pixies won’t bake any more bread.” He was instantly attacked and pinched, and couldn’t open his eyes for days (Folklore, vol.11, 213);
  • Spying: the faeries are notoriously secretive and retiring. A girl given a job as a housemaid by a ‘Green Lady,’ a fairy woman, was warned never to spy on her activities. Of course, the girl did- peeping through a keyhole at her mistress dancing with a bogey- and for this she was blinded (Folklore, vol.7);
  • Kidnapping: at Rudha Ban in Tarbet the wife of the head of the Macfarlane clan fell ill after the birth of a child and couldn’t nurse her baby.  Her husband kidnapped the wife of a local urisk and made her act as wet nurse.  In revenge for this affront, the urisk mutilated the family’s milkmaid.  In turn, he was hanged (Winchester, Traditions of Arrochar and Tarbet, 1916);
  • For attempted murder: at Hawker’s Cove, near Padstow, local man Tristram Bird discovered a mermaid one day whilst he was out hunting seals.  She was sat on a rock, combing her hair and looking as alluring as mermaids can; he instantly desired her and asked her to marry him.  She rejected the proposal and mocked him.  He threatened to shoot her, and she warned him he’d be sorry if he did.  He did- and he was.  Her fired at her and in response she cursed the harbour.  A storm blew up- and a sandbar blocked access from Padstow to the sea;
  • Failing to leave water out for them at night and to make them welcome in your home: when a family forgot one night to put out water, soap and towels for the visiting tylwyth teg, as was habitual, the peeved fairies overturned their stacks of peat outside (Y Cymmrodor, vol.7, 1886);
  • For meanness: a couple out walking on the Isle of Man met a small, crippled man begging.  Whilst the wife would have helped, the husband refused to give him any money, for which he was cursed.  They had a number of children subsequently- all the girls were born without disabilities, but all the boys were disabled just like the beggar (Manx Folklore, 1882-5).  In another Manx story, a man realised that the someone was stealing potatoes from his field after dark. He decided to sit out all night to catch the culprit. He discovered it was the fairies and, by the next morning, he was white and shaking and only able to struggle home and get into his bed, where he soon died. This was the penalty for begrudging a few spuds. A further Manx story concerns a girl baking at Bride.  She forgot the custom of sharing the resulting oat cake with the fairies but when she went up to sleep and got into bed, she received a blow to her face.  She knew this was a message from the fairies, so she went straight back down, baked a new cake and shared it with the Little People (Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol.2).

Some of these incidents are comprehensible, as acts of violence are met with violence.  In the later cases, though the response seems disproportionate to the incitement- but no-one ever suggested that fairies are proportionate people. The best policy is the utmost caution- and the utmost respect: be generous, share with them and at the same time don’t intrude.

Duncan Carse

‘Fy nhy, eich ty’: my house, your house

Florence Anderson, The Artist at Home

The faeries are remarkably attracted to our homes.  For a people who (we are frequently told) have an aversion to all aspects of human civilisation- the noise and pollution, the electric lighting, the religion- there are still numerous examples of them being drawn to using our buildings.  Mills (both operational and disused) are popular, but our houses are even more attractive.

There are, of course, some fairies who live and work with us- the brownies, boggarts and hobs– but what I’m interested in here is the ‘wild,’ non-domesticated faeries who have their own homes and yet still choose to come and use ours.  It may be that our buildings are better than theirs: on this, the evidence is conflicting.  We hear plenty of accounts of people who visit palaces and grand mansions below ground, with halls that accommodate feasts and fine furnishings, but we also hear about dilapidated hovels.  For example, in 1910 a Welsh district nurse reportedly attended a birth in a fairy dwelling.  The room where the woman in labour was lying was formed of bushes; her bed was made of moss (Welsh Outlook, 1931). We can never be sure how much the finery is just glamour that disguises the much more humble reality.

Whatever the exact situation (and perhaps it’s just a matter of class and wealth), there are plenty of accounts of faeries entering our houses and making their presence felt there.

Firstly, the fairies tend to be very particular about the manner in which premises should be prepared for their uninvited nocturnal visits.  They like to find hearths swept, floors washed, good fires built up and water and towels set out for them to wash.  If all is in order, people might hope to be rewarded with small coins; if householders or their servants neglect these preparations, they can expect to be pinched or pulled out of their beds.  For example, a Mrs Owen on Anglesey described in 1886 how her mother used to ready the house for its night time visitors.  She had to set out two chairs, a candle, a basin of clean water, a towel and soap for them.  Then, when the family were in bed, the tylwyth teg would come down the chimney and would spend the entire night bathing.  In the morning, though, the towel would have been washed and dried, the basin would have been emptied and placed on the table and there would be gold sovereigns inside. (Y Cymmrodor, vol.7, 1886)

On Shetland, the trows seem even more fussy.  An untidy home might be cursed for a year and a day; the water that is left out has to come from particular wells.  Conversely, sometimes the visitors (as on the island of Guernsey) might come and do unfinished household chores– although they’ll expect a bowl of porridge in return.

Once the fairies have arrived, their presence is frequently burdensome.  The Manx fairies seem to treat local houses with great familiarity.  They will enter at night, bank up the fires and make use of the spinning wheels.  They too expect bread and water to be left out for them.  In particular, it was accepted on the island that on dark and stormy nights the little folk would need to be able to shelter somewhere and people would go to bed early to make way for them.  In The Fairy Faith, Evans Wentz records a witness saying that his grandfather’s family would sometimes be visited by a little white dog on cold winter’s nights. This was a fairy dog, and was a sign that the fairies themselves were on their way.  The family would then stop whatever they were doing and make the house ready (fire stoked and fresh water set out) before hurrying off to bed. (Wentz 122)

In Buckhaven in Fife, the fairies used to be very troublesome indeed, dancing around the chimneys, running through houses and (of course) stealing babies.  A Welsh man was asleep in his home at Bwlch y ddar, near Llangedwyn, outside Oswestry, when he awoke to find a small man fiddling and others dancing in the room.  He asked who the intruders were, and was told “Yspriddion yr awyr” (spirits of the air).  Then he asked why they were there, and was told that they planned to dance that night and the next.  He swore they wouldn’t- and they vanished.  Perhaps a better response came from one elderly Manx resident, whose house was used regularly at night for faery dancing. The old man was unable to sleep because of the racket, but one evening, hearing the fiddles being tuned downstairs, he got out of bed, descended and asked the fairies if he might join in with their dancing. He was invited to enjoy himself and participated in a couple of reels before finding himself so tired that he slept soundly the rest of the night. Thereafter, he was never troubled again, and wise people in the neighbourhood praised his actions: if he’d stormed in shouting, he’d have been cursed for life, but his friendly attitude won him the esteem of the little people.

Returning to Wales, it was reported in Edwardian times that one Glamorgan neighbourhood was “infested with fairies.”  In one farmhouse, the supernatural visitors annoyed the family continually and gave them no peace: if the occupants were in the kitchen, the fairies would be gambolling in the dairy; if they were in the cow byre, the faes would be dancing in the kitchen.  When the household sat down to a meal, they would be disturbed by noise in the next room.  Eventually, the fairies had to be exorcised (Rhondda Leader, 17/9/1904).

It should be plain that the best policy is to be tolerant and accommodating. The fairies will get into our homes and other buildings whatever we do- they can’t be locked out- so it seems only sensible to make them welcome and to make the best of their company. This attitude is likely to be rewarded; showing exasperation and meanness will only be viewed as disrespect– and will be punished suitably.

Rewards from Fairies

John Anster Fitzgerald, The Intruders

In a recent posting I highlighted the widespread British tradition of propitiating fairies with offerings and sacrifices– very much suggestive of a attitude of worship (or perhaps fear) towards the faery folk. It could even be presented as a sort of ‘protection money’ to keep on the right side of neighbours who are strict and unpredictable. This might give the impression of a one-way and non-reciprocal relationship, which would be misleading. Some people will receive spontaneous gifts of money; others are assisted in their domestic or farm work voluntarily by the fairies- or for minimal payment in kind for their labour. The faeries are also very ready to spontaneously acknowledge acts of good will be humans.

The famous poem by Bishop Corbet, ‘Rewards and Fairies,’ shows the strong link between the performance of good deeds towards fairies and personal gain for the individual that results- a transaction that has been recognised since the early seventeenth century- at the very least.  It need hardly be remarked that the fairies’ reputation is by no means universally so good: on the Isle of Man the fairies were blamed for all misfortunes- for falling down or tripping and for items that go missing and such like- whilst in Devon it has been said that the Dartmoor pixies were held liable for “a great deal of trouble and plague.”

Some of the types of good deed that are widely known to attract faery favour will already be familiar to us.  These include such actions as:

  • Preparing the house for fairy visitors at night, with swept hearths, clean floors, blazing fires, food and drink laid out, iron implements put away and water for washing provided- for which small gifts of money are typically given; or,
  • Repairing a broken tool- for which food is very often the reward- very typically (but not consistently) because what has broken is some sort of baking implement.

Examples of rather more unusual acts that will attract material thanks have included:

  • A man giving up his shirt to wrap a new-born fairy baby;
  • Saving a fairy girl who had got trapped part way down a cliff; or,
  • Carrying a stranded mermaid back to the sea- she brought her saviour silver and gold from the sea bed. In another case the mermaid guaranteed the rescuer’s householder pain free childbirths from that date onwards.

A number of more unusual instances are worth specific attention.  At Bewcastle, in Cumberland, there is a fairy stone to which you can whisper your secret wishes in the secure knowledge that the fairies will answer them. It is also not uncommon for rescued mermaids to offer their human helpers three wishes– as happened in the famous cases from the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall.

Rather more sinister, in one of the Scottish witch trials a woman called Margaret Barclay of Irvine was told by a man who had met that King of Pharie that, if she followed and adhered to the fairies just as he did, she would be rewarded with “geir aneuch” (‘gear enough’- or plenty of goods).  This, of course, sounds rather more like selling your soul to the devil than the generous gifts so far described.

We’ll conclude with the much more cheerful story of ‘Shilo,’ from Devonshire.  A farmer from near Ottery St Mary was walking through his fields when he heard a voice crying out that he’d lost his Shilo. The farmer looked over the hedge and saw a little old man whom he knew straightaway to be a pixie.  Soon after, the farmer came across a tiny baby lying near one of his hay ricks and crying feebly.  He took the foundling home to his wife, who revived it with bread soaked in warm cider.  They realised that the baby must be the missing Shilo for whom the pixie had been searching, so the man returned the infant to the spot where he’d found it.  He then called out and quickly the old pixy appeared and carried off the babe, without saying a word to the human.  The couple feared they’d face punishment for removing the child, but the next morning they awoke to find their house swept, the fire lit and breakfast ready for them and laid out on the table.  Outside, the corn was threshed and the day’s work was already done.  This continued everyday after that and the pair became well off and comfortable.

James Hope, The Maiden & the Fairies

Our interaction with the Good Folk is therefore complex. They will trade with us, they will steal from us; they demand respect, but they will be interfering and intrusive in our lives; they expect certain standards of behaviour from us and the sharing of our food and our homes; they like to be private, but they don’t like to be ignored- or taken for granted. Some fairies will form symbiotic relationships with us- living in our homes and helping us; others will resent intrusions and curiosity. They will act unexpectedly with generosity and kindness- and probably, as a guide to our own behaviour, this is the best advice: if you can do anything to help the fairies, do it cheerfully and readily. This will win their favour.

British Pixies

I am very pleased to announce the arrival of a new book, British Pixies, which has been published by Green Magic, who also released by British Fairies back in 2017 and, much more recently, The Great God Pan.

This new book is a short study of the pixie populations of the South West of England, of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, looking at all aspects of their nature and behaviour- their appearance, clothes, habits and tricks. They are particularly notorious for pixie leading, as I have discussed before.

Here I include a poem I found quite recently, The Pisky Gleaner by Nora Hopper Chesson, which was published in the Cornhill Magazine, vol.9, issue 51, September 1900.

The verse is unusual for the view it presents of the pisky/ pixie, which is essentially to treat it as a sort of puck or brownie, labouring on a human farm in return for a share of human food. It seems to do this for love of a human female, an unusual vision of faery in which it is far more likely for a desired person to be abducted into Faery than the other way round. The idea of the pisky being banished by his own kind for loving a mortal is not Chesson’s invention: on the Isle of Man one explanation of the origin of the fynoderee, a hairy hob type creature who works on human farms, is that he was expelled from Faery for just such a passion. The fynoderee is transformed into a beast as part of his punishment; the pisky of the poem seems to have taken on human form as a disguise. Chesson’s pisky is somewhat saddened and subject to human control, very much unlike the bulk of his race, who are independent, carefree and wild (although there are traces, in Cornwall, of a so-called ‘brown piskie’ who lived and worked in human mills and farms).

Chesson’s pisky has some similarities to those drawn by Rene Cloke and Lorna Steele, in the accompanying postcards, which reflect the benign and friendly view of pixies which has tended to prevail for the last century or more. As I describe in the new book, though, though, they are a far more robust- even cruel- folk who treat humans very much as a source of fun rather than the object of romantic attachment. Worse still are those fiercer pixies called the spriggans, who jealously and violently guard their hoards of gold amongst the ancient standing stones of west Cornwall. The authentic pixie folklore is really a great deal more complex, and more interesting, than the tourist souvenir pixie that we tend to encounter today.

Although they only came to wider public attention with the writings of Mrs Anne Bray in mid-Victorian times (Peeps at Pixies etc), the pixies are a distinct and fascinating family of faeries with a longstanding tradition in their homelands and they are highly deserving of close study. British Pixies is out now from all good vendors of fine literature…

Sacrifices to fairies

Rene Cloke, An Autumn Offering

It’s not at all unusual for people to make regular offerings to fairies and, on certain occasions, to offer major sacrifices to them.

I’ve described before how it was the habit in the Scottish Highlands and islands to make regular offerings of milk to the gruagach and glaistig who often looked after the cattle on farms and in communities. Small quantities were poured out on special stones, perhaps after every milking or at certain times in the farming year.  In fact, at least as recently as the 1950s milk was still being put out overnight for the pixies on one Dartmoor farm.  

On Shetland, local people sacrificed ale or pins and coins to the water horse called shoopiltee to ensure good catches at sea.  At Halloween, the people of Lewis used to attend a church ceremony that included pouring ale into the sea in the hope that the sea spirit ‘shony’ (seonaidh) would guarantee a good supply of seaweed in the year ahead; so too on the remote isle of St Kilda, where shells, pebbles, rags, pins, nails and coins were thrown into the sea.  All round Scotland, in fact, meat, drink and bread would be offered up.  On Orkney the custom was that the first fish caught on a hook when out line-fishing would be thrown back to ensure that the rest of the catch on that trip would be good. 

A very similar practice was known on the Isle of Man.  The islanders used to sacrifice rum to the buggane of Kione Dhoo headland, the liquor being poured into the sea by fishing boats from Port St Mary as they passed the promontory on their way to the Kinsale and Lerwick fishing grounds. Rum was occasionally thrown from the top of the cliff as well, with the words “Take that, evil spirit (or monster)!”. This dedication resembles that which accompanied the practice of throwing a fish to the mermen at sea “Gow shen, dooinney varrey!” (‘Take that, sea people.’) 

Another water beast was appeased in more blood thirsty fashion at Loch Maree in the Scottish Highlands. A terrible lake monster called Mourie inhabited this lake, to which bulls were sacrificed on August 25th each year.  Very similar was the tradition at Loch Wan in the Scottish Uplands, where local farmers offered the first lamb of the flock each year to the loch- otherwise they knew that half their sheep would drown in its waters before the season was out.

Further south, in the Lincolnshire Fens, the habit used to be to offer the first fruits of the harvest, as well as a share of any bread, beer and milk, to the local spirits called the ‘Strangers,’ ‘the Tiddy Ones’ or the ‘Green Coaties.’  People knew that if these offerings were neglected, the crops would fail and livestock would die.

The success of many regular household tasks was guaranteed by making sure of fairy good will.  For instance, on the Isle of Man, the faeries will help with the baking so long as a piece of the dough is stuck to the kitchen wall for them.  If such an offering isn’t made, the baker will face problems.  On Shetland the practice was to sprinkle every corner of a house with milk when butter was to be churned.  In many places in Scotland, just as with the milk offerings mentioned earlier, some of the wort from any household brew of ale would be poured out at the ’brownie stone’ to ensure a good fermentation.

Faery aid- or good will- was invoked in emergencies too.  One Dartmoor sheep farmer’s flock was plagued by disease; he concluded that the only remedy was to go to the top of a tor and slaughter a sheep as an offering to the pixies- a move which promptly alleviated the problem.  At Crawford Muir on Shetland in the 1770s a tenant was reported to have sacrificed a black lamb to the sea trows so as to reinforce curses he was placing upon his enemies.

Lastly, and most strikingly, in 1859 on the Isle of Man archaeologists opened a barrow near Tynwald Hill and excavated the prehistoric remains within.  After they had left, in order to atone for this desecration of a fairy site, a local farmer sacrificed and burned a heifer on the tumulus. This dedication to the spirits of the place is especially striking.  (Manchester Times, 2/4/1881, 4)

If we read such accounts in books on anthropology and ancient religion, we would unhesitatingly say that sacrifices were being made to the gods. In these cases, though, we have offerings made by people who would, I’m sure, have said that they were good Christian folk, going to church or chapel every Sunday and not in the least pagan. They would have denied ‘worshipping’ the fairies and in this I’m sure they would have been right. The goods given are more in the manner of a payment, part of a deal with the Good Folk who lived so near to them and had such an impact upon their lives and their environment. A bargain was being struck, with a powerful and sometimes troublesome neighbour, rather than a prayer being offered up to a nature deity. In some cases, such as the regular provision of milk and bread at night, it would have been framed as an act of welcome towards someone visiting your house. Admittedly, they were going to come in whether you liked it or not, but that was just more reason to want to make them feel at home. Our relationship with fairies has always been one in which there is a strange imbalance in power and nervousness on our part…