Last Thursday I got into a discussion about faeries with a writing friend. I have always envisioned faeries as good, kind and friendly. My friend, however, said that they were written about in Literature, in Victorian times, as good, kind and friendly, but that originally they were mean, ugly and evil.
That piece of information disturbed me because I have an idea for some short fiction pieces that involve a good, kind, friendly fairy. My friend said that I could still create a fairy like that if I wanted to.
So last night I did a little research, for about two-and-a-half hours, and visited six different websites with information about the history of faeries/fairies.
Let’s start with the spelling — faerie is the original spelling which derived from “Fe erie”, meaning the enchantment of the Fees, while Fe is derived from Fay, which is itself derived from Fatae, or the Fates.
The modern term “fairy” is linked to fairy tales, which in their modern form have little to do with actual faeries.
For the rest of this post, I will use the modern, more common spelling “fairy”.
Fairies are mythical creatures. The myths began in Europe and eventually made their way to the United States and other countries.
According to the myths, not all fairies are bad, nor are all fairies good. A common belief is that fairies are fallen angels who are not good enough for heaven nor bad enough for Hell.
Some of the myths talk about good, helpful fairies who interact with humans and help them around the house with things like sweeping and making bread rise. It is said that they do not want humans to thank them and that they can be temperamental. That is why people refer to them as “the little folk”, “the fair folk”, “the good neighbors”, etc. People called them these things in order to avoid attracting their attention and to avoid insulting them.
There are two types of fairies — The Trooping Fairies and the Solitary Fairies. The Trooping Fairies are the ones who don’t mind associating with humans a bit. The Solitary Fairies prefer to be left alone.
All fairies have the power to bestow continual good fortune or continual bad luck upon humans, which is why humans try to avoid attracting their attention or insulting them.
To summarize, in all that I have read, there is information to support that there are both good and bad fairies.
Finally, since fairies are fictional characters, and I am a fiction writer, and since there is information to support both good and bad fairies, I feel quite comfortable writing some short fiction that includes at least one good fairy. (You may even see some of my short fiction with the good fairy right here on this blog.)
*Note: The information in Italics was taken from http://www.medbherenn.com/faerie-lore.html, one of the websites I visited during my research.