People have believed in faeries for hundreds of years, and perhaps longer. Most of the stories and folklore about these magical creatures come out of Europe, primarily the British Isles but most European countries have tales about the fae. These beings are believed to have magical abilities and to have their own kingdom despite the fact that they also inhabit ours. While most faeries are now depicted to be of a cute, helpful, or playful nature; older tales tell of more malignant ones as well.
Beings such as goblins, trolls, and dark faeries of the Unseelie court have been said to play mean tricks on people at best and cause harm or even death at worst. There have been tales of the fae kidnapping people and taking them back to their kingdom, but the dark faeries aren’t always harmful. Some of them will only do harm when they are threatened or if someone breaks a deal that they have made with them. Of course some faeries are of the helpful variety, but even they have a tendency to like to play tricks on people. To maintain good relations with the fae, it is believed that you should leave offerings as a show of respect and as a thank you for any assistance which they may offer.
Many people believe that faeries are nothing more than creatures out of the imagination, but others believe them to be as real as you and I. Regardless of where you stand on whether the fae are real or not, the stories are fascinating. Among my favorites are the stories about the decidedly unfriendly Jenny Greenteeth. The original stories about her originated around Lancashire, England. She is said to inhabit rivers and ponds, waiting for someone (usually children) to come close enough that she can drag them into the water to be drowned. Parents in England have been using stories about this vengeful water creature to scare their children about venturing too close to water for hundreds of years.
I’m thinking that a story about Jenny Greenteeth might have been enough to keep me away from the water’s edge as a child. How about you?
To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!