Books

Faeries

I’ve always taken an interest in things that people don’t believe in. Mythical creatures, horoscopes, ghosts, magic, parallel universes, etc. One thing that hypnotized me as child was my book of faeries. It actually didn’t belong to me per se. I think it was my mom’s or my grandma’s or something but I’m just going to consider it mine. Kind of like that book that praises Hitler that I found in my grandma’s house. That’s definitely mine now.

Much like my post about Merfolk, I’m going to take a moment to educate my readers on the subject of faeries. A lot of this information is a combination of what other people have recorded and some of what I imagine to be true.

The term faerie can be used to describe a number of different legendary creatures such as goblins or trolls, but typically it’s meant for pixie-type beings. I imagine faeries residing on English isles like Jersey, Guernsey, Man, and Wight. I had a friend who lived on Guernsey and I told her that I always pictured it to be a “magical faerie land” (I really said that) and she told me that it really is. I knew it. Although faeries are found in and throughout many European country’s histories, I always imagine them solely in the United Kingdom. I can see trolls and elves in Scandinavia and Germany though. Mostly because Germans and Scandinavians look like trolls.

Faeries spend most of their time hiding from humans. I guess this is one of the reasons I took a particular interest in them. I too like hiding from humans. I picture faeries to be quick, spritely little things. Some have been sketched with wings (like those of butterflies or insects) but others seem to rely on magic or other animals to fly.

Lily Fairy

Much like mermaids, faeries’ looks can be deceiving. They are known to bite and are able to cast charms and play tricks on people. Ways of reversing a faerie spell: ringing church bells, running water, four leaf clovers, or St. John’s wort. Basically anything that you won’t ever come across in your life. Except running water. If you’ve never come across running water then you probably live in Africa. I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t see any faeries in Africa. You might see a zebra though.

I’m now going to list some of my favorite creatures that I’ve come across in my Faeries book by Brian Froud.

Jenny Greenteeth: A river hag who lures children into rivers and ponds to drown them. Jenny Greenteeth was the inspiration for Meg Mucklebones in Ridley Scott’s Legend. That movie is worth a watch mainly because Tim Curry plays the Lord of Darkness, the heroine’s name is Princess Lili, and there’s a unicorn. And Tom Cruise.

Selkies: Mythological creatures that live as seals in the water and shed their animal skin to become humans on land. Don’t pretend it wouldn’t be awesome to be a seal.

Will o’ the Wisp: This is more of a phenomenon, but it’s still cool. Will o’ the Wisps are flickering lights that are found deep in forests around bogs or marshes to lure travelers from their safe paths. I don’t know how many of you saw Disney’s Brave, but Wisps made an appearance. Unfortunately they were made to look and act like beings more than a simple light. Leave it to Disney to mess everything up.

NOT what wisps look like.

Brownies: Kind of like a hobgoblin, brownies live in human households and help with tasks at night in exchange for small gifts. I wish I had two brownies in my house. The chocolate kind and the goblin kind.

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Animals, Surroundings

Merfolk

I don’t know about you guys, but I like to think that mythical creatures used to and still do exist. My grandma passed down a book to me (or my mom…I don’t really remember. My mom and I are pretty interchangeable anyway) simply titled Faeries. It has every folkloric creature that you could find in nature. Some of the best creatures, in my opinion, are Mermaids.

Every child’s first introduction to mermaids should be through the movie, The Little Mermaid. I’ll be the first to admit that Ariel is kind of retarded. First of all she’s a ginger. And I mean that in the worst possible way. She’s a flaming, fire engine red, ginger. She likes adventure, but she gives her voice away in return for legs. Umm that’s a really bad trade. Although, Ursula’s song is very convincing. “And don’t underestimate the importance of BODY LANGUAGE.” Wtf is Ursula anyway? She’s like half octopus half lesbian? I also love Ariel’s thought process: “If I become human, I’ll never be with my father or sisters again…” cut to her signing the scroll. Wow, you must have really loved your family.

A ginger wearing pink. Really, Disney?

Onto more realistic mermaids. The movie Splash really opened my eyes to what mermaids are really like–They save people from drowning, they can teach themselves English incredibly quickly, and they have the power to give themselves legs whenever they want. Did you know all it takes is a little iodized salt to change them back, too?! The things you learn. Basically everything in The Little Mermaid is a lie.  One of Ariel’s best friends is Sebastian the crab, yet Madison plows into a lobster like it’s her favorite meal. Hmmm. It seems like being naked on the beach is the only consistency between these two gals.

Is there any way you can avoid rolling in all that seaweed?

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that mermaids aren’t at all like how they’ve been portrayed on the big screen. Some mermaids are indeed helpful and kind to sailors, but many had tempers and would specifically target men traveling across the sea. People often confuse mermaids with Sirens who were also women that would lure sailors from their ships hoping to kill them. Mermaids have been around forever–since 1000 B.C. Some were even recorded to be 2,000 feet long. I feel like ancient record keepers over exaggerated a lot.

At least she’s not using a fork to comb her hair. Or is she?

OMG wait. This just in: “Claimed sightings of dead or living mermaids have come from places as diverse as Java and British Columbia. There are two Canadian reports from the area of Vancouver and Victoria, one from sometime between 1870 and 1890, the other from 1967.” AHHHHH. BRB going mermaid spotting.

Other mermaids have been portrayed in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean 10 (there’s been 10 of those movies, right?). Mermaid tears are needed to open a secret door. Apparently mermaid tears are rare because they’re such biatches.

Skanks and hos.

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