Stories have an enormous influence on culture and vice versa. We may not think about it sometimes but it’s true. It’s why we have certain superstitions, beliefs and feelings about a specific situation. We’ve all been brought up with some sort of story that serves as a piece of advice about everyday life and how to deal with it or how to behave. These come in the form of nursery rhymes, campfire stories and, of course, the fairy tale.
Today is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Fairy tales are some of my favorite stories ever because they have magical beings in a combination of supernatural and natural settings. Fairies are in a supernatural species known as fae folk, which also includes elves, gnomes and other magical creatures. Fae folk are portrayed as being tricky when dealing with humans but also being generally joyful for the most part but, as always, there are trouble makers too.
Sometimes a good fairy tale can be so supernatural it makes it hard to believe. Then there are some fairy tales which border on the possible so closely it’s hard to discern whether or not they may have happened. The fairy tales that make us believe fae folk are real are my absolute favorite.
So, since I am a writer of songs and tales in general, I thought it would be fun to share a little fae folk poem I wrote for the daughter of close family friends a couple months ago. The poem is based on the true stories of rocks and hills in Iceland. These areas are thought to be the homes of elves and as Iceland began to grow in population and activity, the need for more roads increased. Some of the paths for these roads were planned to go through the homes of these elves and fae folk. In Iceland, these beings are called huldufólk, which means the hidden people.
When construction for roads and other projects came across elf home areas there would be major equipment malfunctions and other unexplained phenomenon that would keep workers from completing the road. Sometimes workers had to put rocks and stones back in their original locations if they had been moved then make the road more narrow in a section or divert the path of the road entirely around the object.
So here is my poem about such a situation. It is called “The Magic Stone” (written for Maggie May. I hope you always believe in the fae folk).
The Magic Stone
Where fault lines meet out at mid sea
There is an island where magic things roam free
Elves, fairies and trolls are the sort
You just might see stepping in from port
The people here, long ago
Built a road to go to and fro
All ’round the island this road had grown
Until it’s path came to a stone
This was no ordinary stone, oh no
Twas a boulder made from the great volcano
It was where some fairies and elves called home
And so, by default, it was a magic stone
Before the road, travelers would find their way
By seeing how the sun would touch the stone mid day
And so folks would rarely, if ever, get lost
As long as their path and the stone had crossed
The builders preferred roads to be hastily laid
For the more work they can do, the more they are paid
But fairies and elves do not think this way
They’d much rather eat, love and play
One day the builders moved the stone
And off to the side it was thrown
The fairies became upset since this was their home
So they caused a fuss to return where first they were sown
The next day they made the water pipes burst
And it flooded the place to begin their curse
Then machines broke and trucks wouldn’t start
And food would go missing from the builders’ lunch cart
Then the wind caused landslides and a terrible mess
Which buried the work they’d done since over the crest
And the builders started to think this was not just bad luck
So they called a fairy speaker to see what’s run amok
The speaker, fairies and elves had a wonderful chat
They explained all would stop if they put the stone back
So they were returned to their happy abode
And now there’s a stone in the middle of the road
So if you should ever come across a magic stone
It’s best to leave some sweets or leave it alone…
Tell a fairy tale today to someone to come across. A stranger or a loved one. And if you don’t know one, feel free to share this one! Happy National Tell a Fairy Tale Day to all!