Faerie greetings to you all!
Today I am sharing with you a page from my sketchbook from which I will be sharing more pages with you in the future. I say sketchbook – this is rather a collection of loose pages folded together. I have many “proper” sketchbooks too although often I am too afraid to use them, being too worried about spoiling them with less than perfect drawings. With loose pages I can be a bit freer as if I have a disaster, they can be swiftly put straight in the recycling bin!
I’ve never been much of a sketcher, most of the time an idea appears, gets roughly sketched out and this turns into a finished piece. More recently I’ve been encouraging myself to sketch more however as a few little characters that have turned out great for painting have appeared.
Another way I paint sometimes is when an entire painting appears complete in my mind with every little detail in place! I do wish this would happen more!
I wonder if any of these sketched faeries will end up replacing human babies as changelings? It seems that many types of faery are tempted to take a human baby and replace it with one of their own, or even sometimes a crudely carved piece of wood enchanted by faery glamour to appear as a human. The spell will eventually wear off though to reveal a wizened creature. Apparently some faeries decide to deposit an elderly member of their group in place of the human baby where it will be well attended to and cared for in its old age. A faery changeling will often have an awful temper and spend their time in fits of rage and howling, biting and hitting. They are bound to be problematic I suppose as the faeries would never give up one of their favourites!
The human baby, of which those of fair hair are most at risk are taken to improve the bloodlines and stock of a faery tribe which is dwindling.
A Danish story relates how a changeling would behave like a human child when in the company of its “parents”, but when left alone, the neighbours would see it running up the walls, sitting on the rafters and crying out in a strange language. As soon as anyone entered the house however, it would appear quietly fast asleep. Like other changelings though, this one was tricked into revealing itself for what it really was.
Several years ago, I was shown this photo of what at first seems like a log found in a cot – strange enough, but looking closer now, it appears to have a face – perhaps revealing this was not a log at all, but rather a changeling…
Supposedly, if a changeling is thrown onto an open fire, it will fly up the chimney, shrieking and shouting and usually the human baby would be returned – if not it may be possible to rescue it from the faery hill where it had been taken. Obviously, suspecting parents must be very, very sure they have a changeling before throwing a baby on the fire! And indeed, in the past there have been occasions where human children have suffered if they are suspected of being changelings, especially if they have changed with a sudden onset of illness.
It is possible to protect against human babies with the usual methods of protection which I will write more on soon, such as hanging scissors above the cot and tying a piece of red cloth around the child.
I often seem to be writing about the dangers of faery – they do have their more benign sides too – we just have to be careful!