Category Archives: Tree Faerie

Faeries by the old Elm Tree

A lovely tale which reminds us that there may be a good reason why a particular place, (in Kit’s case a running brook beside an old Elm Tree) calms or refreshes your spirit.

Although he didn’t know it at the time, he was in the company of friendly Faerie, no doubt pleased at his quiet appreciation of Mother Nature…

*

I’ve just been reminded of a story from when I was around 10-11.

I used to walk home from my junior school through a wood (it was longer but meant I didn’t have to walk on the road). There was a brook which disappeared into a rudimentary brick-built tunnel mainly torn up by tree roots of an old elm tree.

tree roots stream

So, on good days I would sit there for awhile, dropping things into the brook to watch them disappear into the darkness of this tunnel. It felt like a very special and secret place and although I was a very talkative kid it was my time for silence.

old lady hands

One day, I was playing with a friend from my village and we went to take some topsoil in a wheelbarrow to her Nan who lived near the wood. I’d never met her before (although I had seen her around). My friend introduced me and the Nan replied “Oh you’re the little boy who plays with the faeries up by the elm tree“.

Now at the time I assumed she meant “I was away with the faeries” a local saying that meant in your own world. I was surprised because I always thought I’d been alone and unwatched so the fact my friend’s Nan had clearly seen me was a bit embarrassing.

However, a few years later my friend told us that her Nan kept a journal about her time with the faeries in the wood. I now like to think that my playing by that brook wasn’t alone but was overwatched by others and in turn they talked to my friends Nan about me.

Needless to say, as a teen I always made sure not to get up to anything in that wood that could get back to my friends Nan!

Kit Cox.

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Encounter with Scottish Forest Faerie

I hope you enjoy this incredibly vivid account of an encounter in a dark, wet Scottish forest. In all honesty, I’m not sure I would have remained as composed as Kelly. I find it particularly interesting that the Faerie seemed to ‘test’ Kelly, and appreciate her feisty nature. – Kitty.

*

I was living in my car at this time, my partner lived in his. We both had one dog each with us, but we were freezing cold and struggling to cope with the elements.

We were temporarily homeless and had nowhere else to go. On this particular night we were on the beach at Oban.

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Oban, Scotland.

The wind was strong and it was below freezing. My partner suggested we go to the forest. It was a place he often camped in, and he had left a small tent in a secret location there, it was his emergency home.

I agreed to spend the night in the tent, because I needed to lay down flat, and my car was too small to sleep in and relax.scot forest logs

The forest itself was on an incline. The ground was very muddy and slippery. We only had the moonlight to help us navigate our way up through the trees. I had to climb over fallen trees and crawl under the low laying ones. I was not in a good mood.

We found the tent and it was in a state of disrepair. The front zip had broken and the inner bedroom compartment zip only went down half way. So this made the tent colder than usual.

I complained constantly about our plight, while the wind whistled round the tent and the cold froze my fingers and toes.

maple puddle

I bought a mat and a sleeping bag to lay on, but as soon as I got in the sleeping bag, that is when the rain started. It poured down and soon the tent floor was soaking, which in turn saturated my sleeping bag. By now, I was a snivelling wreck.

I just sat crying and feeling sorry for myself suddenly, two men started talking to each other at the back of the tent. I could hear them as clear as anything. They sounded like they were having a normal day to day chat but I could not make out any of their words, even though I felt it was familiar, like English.

The chat seem to last some time, possibly about half an hour. During this time I tried to think of any possible reason why, or how, anyone had found this actual spot, that was well hidden from the public, and why they should be stood chatting in a storm.

The chat ended. After a few moments I heard the sound of heavy foot prints walk around the tent, crunching sticks under foot. My heart was pounding in fear, because we were so vulnerable.

Suddenly something hit the tent, it hit it so hard the canvas came inwards towards me. This happened 3 times. It was as if someone was using a heavy stick to strike the tent. My heart was beating so fast, I could barely speak. The dogs started barking and jumping around. Then silence.

I was now so distressed I was on my knees rocking backwards and forwards. I hadn’t slept for nights, and I was exhausted. I closed my eyes and tried to lull myself to sleep.

tent in rain

That is when I heard the music. It was coming from further up the forest. There was no housing up there, or anywhere a band could play. Yet, it sounded like a band was starting. I heard a rich, male voice start to sing out in to the wind. I could not make out the words, but he sounded like a young man.

violin

The violins sounded out, yet they were not violins. The instruments where familiar, yet nothing I had heard of in my day to day life.

The music got louder and louder and it was like a party was starting. I heard lots of voices start to join in. It gave me comfort, but it intrigued me so much, because I wanted to know how and why anyone would want to party in a storm, in the middle of winter, in a cold, muddy forest. It made no sense.

I still had my eyes closed, but now I “saw” all these faces coming towards me, mocking me, teasing me, trying to scare me. Some were hideous and frightening, some human like and handsome. The one I recall the most was the young man. I somehow linked his face to the voice that was singing. He had a mop of dark curly hair and beautiful green eyes, he looked Irish to me, he was the one with the cheeky smile.

I was so infuriated by my plight that I had no time for fear now. So the scary faces that growled at me, I swore at, and told them to back off. Their expressions changed. Some looked bemused, one looked shocked. Then suddenly, it was if they thought “who the hell is this woman?”, and they softened up towards me. I honestly felt like they came to ward me off, and some came to welcome me, but in the end, it was like a general acceptance. I really believed at this point that I was in THEIR forest, and that they had decided I could stay.

I spoke in my mind to the faces and their expressions is where I got their answers. I asked them if I should leave my partner, because I blamed him for out plight, and one laughed, the other looked confused, and the other face rolled its eyes! In other words, “it was none of their business!”

So they disappeared. That is when the wind picked up, and started to whistle through the trees. I could not believe what I was hearing, it was like the trees where singing! It was so beautiful, it hypnotised me. I felt like I should leave the tent and follow the sound, and go and join the fairies, but at this point, my partner told me to stay inside. It was like I was been lulled out of the tent.

I stayed put and then suddenly the wind died down, then the rain stopped.

That is when the ball of light came bouncing in to the tent. It was like a purple, lit up bouncy ball. It came in and knocked things over. There was no explanation for what it was. The dogs went insane and started barking at it at running towards it. I was sat opened mouthed in absolute wonder.

It bounced out of the tent and disappeared.

That is when I fell asleep.

The next morning I asked my partner if he saw or heard anything, to which he replied, “Congratulations Fallbrook, you met the fairies”.

rainbow after storm

We got a job soon after and moved into a park. During the coming winter when the season ended, they came back to see me twice. Both times they struck the caravan three times! I knew it was them. I called out “hello”.

I believe the fairies are like people. You get the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think they saw my distress, and some wanted to help me, while others wanted to scare me out of their forest, but they came around because I am strong spirited. I see them as my friends.

I try to protect the forest, because I believe it is their home. I also think that when I go to other places on the west coast of Scotland, they recognise me.

They are hidden, but real. I love them. I hope to meet them again and talk to them. I just hope that my circumstances are nicer than the last time.

I did meet them again, but that is another story.

I swear my story is true. I really did see them, and hear them. My dogs saw them. They see us, but it is hard for us to see them. I believe that you need the second sight to see them.

Kelly Fallbrook – Scotland.

Beware the Faerie Ring

Now I believe in the Good People and my family know ways of dealing with them and it’s a lucky thing too.

It was May last, 2018, my boyfriend and I were cycling the track through a place called the Black Valley in County Kerry. It sounds gloomy but really it’s a lovely place. It was a bright morning and we set out early, hoping to beat the weather coming in later that day.

bike under treeSo anyway, we’d been riding only about 30 minutes when I saw a lovely painted horse there, stood beneath a fairy tree looking at us, and I mean staring at us. Hard like.

If you don’t know what a fairy tree is I’ll tell you, it’s a lone hawthorn tree sitting in the middle of a field all by itself. And so it was this fairy tree with the horse stood under.

I don’t know what it was about this horse, but I felt like it was calling me or something, so I told my boyfriend to stop and we hopped off our bikes, climbed the stone wall and walked over to it.

As we got closer, I could see the horse was shattered, exhausted like. With eyes beseeching or something but not moving, standing right still. And then I saw why, surrounding the horse, about a yard from his hooves, was a neat circle of mushrooms.

My boyfriend reached his arm out to pat the horse and I smacked it down and said “Don’t go putting your arm in a feckin fairy ring” so I said.

mushrooms

I thought a minute then decided it best to call me Mam and ask her. So I did and she told me what to do.

With my boyfriend holding my left arm, I stood close to the outside of the mushroom ring and leaned my right arm into the ring and grabbed the mane of the horse, which was neatly plaited, and pulled it out. I’d like to tell you it was a gentle tug but the Good People don’t give up their mischief easy so it was more of a yank.

The horse stumbled when it got out of the ring and then took off. I’m sure he was grateful, although he didn’t stick around to say so.horse painted

I knew we’d used up all our luck that day so we turned around and rode home. Spent the rest of the day on the couch with Netflix!

We went back the next weekend to check on the horse and he looked grand. He was well away from the fairy tree mind!

But we really were lucky, especially being it was May. Without my boyfriend there to hold one of my arms I wouldn’t think of reaching into that fairy ring for fear of never getting out myself.

I’d like to think the Good People were just having some fun with the horse. Dancing and singing all night long and plaiting its mane and all, I surely hope they meant it no harm, for they do have a care for animals but you can never be sure.

My advice to anyone spotting a fairy ring is to stay well away, never step in it, no matter what. Even if there is a pile of coins or a diamond ring or anything else sat in the middle of the ring, keep walking, don’t stop and don’t be tempted.

And best stay clear of the fairy trees too, just leave them be and you should have no trouble.

Emily – County Kerry.

At Wicklow Station

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I’ve never told anyone this before, and I don’t know for certain what it was I saw, but I’ll tell you what happened anyway.

A couple of years ago, I was taking the Wicklow-Dublin train, it was summer, around dusk. Dark outside, but not so dark I couldn’t see. The train was sat at Wicklow station, just waiting to depart and I was looking out the window at those big trees on the west side which overlook the tracks. I don’t know what kind of trees they are, but anyhow, right up the top of the second to biggest tree was perched 3 ‘creatures’.

I could make out their form and definitely see their eyes because they were glowing red. At a guess I’d say they were each the size a bear cub, and they were covered in a thick coat which must have been a brown, definitely not black because I wouldn’t have seen them at all, but for the glowing eyes.

Anyway, they were sat up there looking down and it felt like they were looking right at me. The lights were on in the carriage so I’ve no doubt they could see me.

And now this is why I have never told anyone. As the train crunched into gear and began moving, one of the ‘creatures’ raised its hand or paw or whatever it was, and waved.

I remember being sure it was waving at me and I instinctively waved back!

Whenever I’m at the station I look for them in the trees but have never seen them again.

I’m not saying they were Faerie, but I don’t know what they were. Not any animal I’ve ever seen before, ever, let alone in a Wicklow tree!

Liam – Wicklow

Her Fairy Garden

When my sister and I were kids, I’m a few years older than her anyway, she had one half of the back garden set up like a fairy wonderland.

My Ma and Dad helped her. Dad built a little fairy house, so small ‘only fairies could fit inside’ and a little pond next to it with frogs and fish and special plants that attracted birds.

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Ma gave her potted plants to decorate and hung tiny lights up between trees. My sister would also string up those little crisp packets. This was the early 80’s and everyone was doing it. You’d stick your empty crisp packets in the oven until they shrink to a tiny size. Well, she’d do this, then string the tiny colourful crisp packs up on the lower branches of bushes near the fairy house. She said the fairies loved them.

Anyway, she’d be out there all hours, her feet and fingernails always covered in dirt. I was only allowed to kick my football on the other side of the garden and woe me if it ventured onto her side (as it did from time to time…).

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I remember my mates and me watching her tend to the plants, sweeping leaves from around the fairy house and piling them up to make her own fairy fort, all the while talking to the fairies. We just laughed, thought she was mad.

When I got jack of her and her fairies taking up half the garden, Ma would always tell me they made her happy, and she made them happy. “They favour her”, she would say, “and don’t say a word against it… or them!”

This went on for years, well into her late teen years when she moved away to study. The fairy house and pond are long gone, but when she comes back to visit Ma and Dad, she still goes out and tidies the leaves and hangs a few ribbons or bells off the trees or plants a flower, then she’ll sit on the bench and talk to her ‘fairies’. After all this time, it is still really important to her.

Anyway, I recently got to thinking, my sister has what most would call a ‘charmed life’. She’s the kind of person whose toast lands butter side up if you get my meaning. Her life isn’t perfect but she is lucky. If she buys a raffle ticket, she wins. When she goes for job, she gets it. She’s always been lucky. Not long after getting her first car, the brakes failed and she ran off the road at speed, the car rolled and was a write-off, but she didn’t have a scratch on her. No word of a lie, not a scratch.

My sister is the sweetest person I’ve ever known, honestly, to know her is to love her. She always wears this look, like a crooked smile, as though she has a secret, that people find so charming. And I don’t know what I’m saying, but after all this time, now I’m older, I wonder if she has always had a secret.

Name withheld at request – Dublin.

Graveyard Visit

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Me and a friend are avid historians. We sort of like old historical monuments. I live in a city (Waterford) where there are many old historical features castles, city walls, burial grounds, ruins, churches etc.

One summer me and my friend decided to check out some old graveyards. We were mostly using Google maps to find the places. Many of these were in secluded areas, so we were relying on aerial photographs.

One of these was in quite a remote area. I think it was a famine graveyard from Ireland’s “Great Hunger”, or at least some of the victims may have been buried there, so it it’s very likely it may have actually pre-dated this period.

We ventured in and we are waist-deep in nettles, weeds, and grass. The writings on the headstones were indecipherable. As we left this graveyard we were met by the landowner. Now, he didn’t mind us being in there as we explained we were just interested in the historical element of the graveyard. We had a long conversation about the place.

The way he spoke about the place was sort of eerie. He said that there were bodies under an area new road was built over. For some reason he also talked about a fairy bush. He believed that some workers who had interfered with this fairy bush had succumbed to horrible accidents shortly after trying to remove the fairy bush.

He seemed genuine in his conviction.

The man had grown up in the area and had lived there all his life. He had a reverence for the land he lived on and an utmost respect for the dead that lived just a stones throw from his house.

Rob – Waterford

The May Magpie

I have enjoyed reading about other people’s experiences with fairy of Ireland and wanted to share my story too, although it’s not really about me at all.

In May 1992, I stayed 4 weeks at a Bed & Breakfast in far north Donegal. I won’t trouble you with the reason for my extended stay, suffice to say I departed a better man than had arrived.

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I want to tell you about Nora, my host at the B&B. She has been in my thoughts lately, as I have come to realize she probably saved my life.

Nora ran her house with the routine of a drill sergeant and expected absolute courtesy from her guests. She fed me three times a day, insisted I hike at least once a day (regardless of the weather) and dragged more ‘pleases’ and ‘thankyous’ from me in those 4 weeks than my Mom had managed in 20 years! But she was by no means a hard woman. She had a soft spot for troubled souls like me and… she believed in fairies.

I arrived in Donegal in early May. The one month in the year so Nora told me, you are most likely to be stolen or attacked by a fairy. Though I never (knowingly) saw one myself, according to Nora her garden was teeming with them.

She spoke to them, and about them, politely, as though they were distant relations but there was one that caused her constant worry. The May Magpie.magpie-1332420 (2).jpg

According to Nora, a lone magpie in May is a disagreeable fairy in disguise with a mind to cause you harm.

And she had one in her garden.

There it is as every year before,” she said as she set breakfast to the table in the sunroom (which overlooked the garden), “come to test me. I’ll be keeping the cat inside til June now, hope you’re not allergic”.

She had a tight smile on her lips and a keen eye on the magpie as she spoke. “If you slight the May magpie, it will bring a world of trouble to your door the likes you had never known”.

I had to stifle my young self from laughing as Nora assured me she could handle the fairies and knew how to appease the May magpie.

And so, for the next 4 weeks I watched. Every morning, after serving my breakfast, Nora ventured into the garden to greet the waiting May magpie.

She bowed her head in greeting and spoke a familiar word or two.

Good day to you, and isn’t it a fine one?” or “You are looking well yourself” she would say.

And every day after serving my lunch, she would venture back into the garden, make a little small talk and leave a bowl of Guinness for it to drink.

They say there’s a change coming from the West now”.

And would never think of hitting the sack without checking in… “I’m off out after tea, so I’ll bid you goodnight” she once hollered from the backdoor.

One day I even heard her give the May magpie the time, “It’s a quarter past the midday now” she said as she pinned washing on the line.

That lone May magpie, at least for the month of May, was treated as Nora’s most revered and dare I say, feared, guest. I can only wonder what might have happened if Nora had displeased the May magpie for no matter how I tried, she would never venture into that conversation.

I have seen and done many things in my life that are best forgotten, but memories of Nora and her May magpie have never left me. In fact, the words Nora told me back then, ring just as true today.

A kind word goes a long way” she said, “it just wants you to acknowledge it. To say I see you. You have no need to harm me nor I you. Let us live byside each other in peace.That is all we need tell any of the fairies”.

Even now, after all these years, I still think about the fairies in Ireland and still nod my regards to a lone magpie.

Just in case.

Daniel – Philadelphia