Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fairy Tales

I've blogged about this before, but the subject came up with Mom again recently, and then I learned about a new book that intrigues me, to say the least.

Well, it goes like this: down through the years my mom has told me the story of a sunny day, when she was a child of eight or so, that she and her friend Winkie were on the front porch playing, and upon looking up they both saw and described a little man, dressed in red and green and wearing a hat with a pointed hat. The little man made eye contact with them and then ducked into a hole in the ground (that part of the city of Chattanooga, TN was quite rural at that time).

According to my mom, she asked Winkie, "did you see that?" Winkie described the same sight my mom had seen. (My mom swears, and always has, that she asked Winkie to describe what she saw before she blurted her assessment.)

No matter how often I have "grilled" Mom on the details, her story has never wavered. I wrote a post that suggested that perhaps she was so impressed by a childhood visit to a local tourist attraction, Lookout Mountain's Rock City perhaps it led to a fantasy. Rock City, besides being a lovely gardens and natural rock citadel, was a virtual fairyland of its creator, Frieda Carter (Carter was heavily interested in European folklore and troubled herself to import Gnome figurines from Germany to enhance Rock City's natural beauty).

My mother dismissed my theory as preposterous. I'm moved by that. My mother is not a liar (although I wouldn't rule out being a bit fantasy-prone). But who am I to tell her she didn't see what she and her friend allegedly saw?

Now I notice the recent publication of Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times, by a member of the Fairy Investigation Society, the late Marjorie T. Johnson.

Johnson's book claims to present accounts of approximately four hundred fairy sightings from people all over the world, allegedly "the biggest single collection of fairy experiences ever amassed." A blurb at states:

THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK. Its accounts of fairy experiences, mostly from the twentieth century, have come from business men and women, housewives, journalists, clergymen, bus drivers, anglers, gypsies, school teachers, university professors, soldiers, artists, authors, poets, musicians, sculptors, actresses, and many others who have seen fairies of various types in houses, churches, and sheds; in gardens, fields, woods, country lanes, and public parks; on moors, hills, and mountains; and even on sewing machines, typewriters, and kitchen stoves.

Yes, and I've known it for some time, there really are people who claim to have seen fairies. And yes, I'm one of those who has actually read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's embarrassing The Coming Of The Fairies. Without question the eyes can play tricks on us, and those very inclined to believe can delude themselves. But I have to tell you, my mom sounds really convincing....


  1. I too am not one to say what is or isn't impossible. But I do think it can happen with long ago events that we end up remembering the memory rather than the event, and the memory can change. It probably depends on if we have ever written the memory down, how soon afterwards, and whether anyone else remembered it also.

    1. So true. False memories do occur. I stumbled upon a way to check my memory. I collect old television shows on DVD. I've assembled a number of these and old movies that I remember from my childhood. I always test certain scenes from my memory, sometimes going back over four decades. Most of the time those memories proved very accurate. A few times my memories were mostly accurate, but not exactly crisp. And I admit there a few where I almost totally blew it. Obviously this mainly works when my memory made a strong impression. Mom's memory of her little man obviously made a strong impression on her.

    2. I think your memory is better than mine. There are some things I remember well, but so many songs, films, places, etc that I remember and get back to them and find I remembered wrongly - not totally, but a little and noticeably.

  2. I remember that post and I shared my story of seeing a man in armour at the end of my bunk bed. My story hasn't changed either. :-)

    1. I remember your telling me about that. So intrigued was was I that I went back in search of that old post in order to reread your comment. So what do you make of your "tin man"? You ought to blog about that one. Or have you already and I missed it?

    2. Speaking of memory from your above conversation, I can't remember if I ever blogged about it. I've always thought that my best blogging material would be found in my comments in other people's blogs. LOL!

      A dream? The Wizard of Oz? In my Christian years I would have liked to have thought it was a warrior of God protecting me but the sense in this "tin man" was not of protection or love. I did not sense benevolence. It wouldn't let me out of the bed to go pee! Surely God's beings would understand that and let me out. :-)

      Did I ever tell you I have a binder of dreams? Always thought I'd use them to write one day but I think I'm out of steam. They very much show my journey in life. Rarely do I recall my dreams anymore and for the most part when I do I still find meaning in them but I don't work at it. I just wake up and think, 'well that fits.' :-)