Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Story About the Little Folk

There is a long tradition of tales of little people in Europe: fairies, elves, and leprechauns. It is a little known fact that at one time little people had large thriving communities in the New World. The arrival of the European Small Folk to these shores predates the permanent settlement of the large Europeans in America by at least 500 years. It has been theorized that Vikings or ivory traders who plied the northern waters more frequently than commonly supposed, may have unknowingly carried small pioneer families to this land. The small folk’s own oral traditions and earliest recorded ballads speak of a great migration utilizing bird transport. How ever it happened, and perhaps it was a combination of means, either before or after their arrival they had a major schism which exists to this day but without the former animosity. Authorities disagree about root causes and chronology. My research seems to indicate that the division or clan formation was not racial but philosophical. For ages some among the fairy folk had practiced magic, though they never called it that, but magic even when used for good, always carries the danger of dragging one into evil. So, over time, maybe gradually, or maybe at a time of calamity, there came to be a large minority of small people who chose to renounce any practice which might possibly be used to control another’s action or gain any kind of advantage unfairly over another. Some historians believe that this shunning of “accomplished power” was the motivation to move west.

You may well ask, “Why have I not heard of little people in America and where do they live now?”

The little people go to great lengths to avoid detection. Their very size makes hiding easy. Also, this is a vast continent with huge, sparsely populated tracts where they have made their homes. They never congregate in large cities but prefer scattered farmsteads and small villages which they conceal creatively.

I began my study of the Little Folk as a result of a diary I found in a hot dusty attic in central Texas when I was a young teen. My great aunt Jane, a keen amateur naturalist and old maid school teacher of the early 1900’s, had made a discovery when she was a young woman which doomed her. Though thought to be quite pretty, the locals would always think of her as Questionable, a bit crazy but harmless, (and the best school teacher they ever had because no one would dream of marrying her so there wouldn’t be the constant turnover in teachers!) Actually she married when she was 28 which was considered old at that time. This caused an uproar and the surviving stories still suggest scandal and mystery.

I found her diary and it changed my outlook from that of a fairly normal kind of shallow teenage girl to one obsessed with history, literature, observation and keeping of nature journals, and general improvement in all academic studies.

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