The Procession of the Faeries. By artist Stephanie Law.
It’s the time of year for faeries.
In old England and Ireland and Scotland, they used to say the thin veil separating the human world from that of Faerie thins on October 31, and on that night anything is possible. Our tales this month will be all about the faeries and the little people, but Tinkerbelle and your Disney friends- sorry, ladies, go somewhere else. We are getting real about faeries this October. These faeries are the Gaelic kind, the kind who are beautiful but dangerous, who look like humans but whose blood flows ice-cold, who confer good fortune and favor beyond belief, but who might also kidnap children and bring them back to the enchanted realm of Faerie, never to return. This is the Faerie Land that is the most wonderful place in the world- until you realize that if you go there, you may never get back to this side of the veil.
Fairy mound, Ireland
What better tale to delve into the mysteries of real faeries than Tam Lin? An old Scottish ballad, the tale concerns a youth named Tam Lin who is kidnapped by the Faerie Queen and forced to haunt a forest forever more. When the feisty Janet passes through the enchanted wood, she and Tam Lin fall in love. But Janet will have to endure quite a few trials to save her love from the magic of the Faerie Queen.
I have adapted the rather, eh, steamy original so it is appropriate for children. My version here:
And just for kicks, the Scottish original:
Ballad of Tam Lin
We will also tell Snow White and Rose Red. The Little Person here is not a faerie but a dwarf who is having a very bad hair day (or beard day, I should say). Two sisters must use their wiles to free yet another enchanted young man from this grouchy creature’s spell. (This is a Grimm’s tale, so versions of it are easy-peasy to find.)
Snow White and Rose Red. Drawing by Brooke Bailey.
Enjoy the tales… but don’t stay out too late on Halloween night! For it is the night when faeries walk.