(Continued from Wee Folk in the Woodlands Part I)
. . . It wasn’t until I happened on a window, closed and latched from the inside that I began to realize the trees were, in point of fact, inhabited. I knocked politely with the tip of my finger, and received no response. The residents were either not at home, or waiting noiselessly inside until all uninvited guests had cleared. I rapped on the window again, and called “yoo-hoo” to anyone inside. Only the wind answered with its “whooo-ooo” suggestion to move along. And so I did.
Quite some time passed before I gave any more thought to the window and small openings I had found on my walks. It was midsummer, while studying the crops at a local garden, that I was taken aback to see what appeared to be a pair of little wings. Scrutinizing the fragile crescents posessing such a small wingspan, I surmised the owner could fit comfortably within the palm of my hand. I wondered if they hadn’t been hung out to dry in the hot July sun after catching moisture from the morning dew. There were, as I investigated, quite a few of the tiny pair, but to my dismay, not a faerie in sight.
With my mind’s eye awakened, you might think it quite likely for me to dream up all sorts of things that weren’t really there. There might have, after all, been several pair of eyes upon me at any given moment. Such as it was, I recoiled suddenly when an angry troll popped out to glare at me! Envision my relief upon seeing that it was only a magenta flower, being worked over quite thoroughly by an orange bug. I laughed at my foolishness as the insect crawled up and over the troll’s pointy head. In my curiosity, I had let my imagination become completely unrestrained. After watching the bug on its steadfast mission for a moment or two, I deemed it time to continue my hike.
Somewhere along my meandering another wonder drew me in. To my astonishment, suspended from a vine, was a charming pair of the tiniest slippers made of the most delicate material, in a most exquisite shade of pink. Remembering the troll I had conjured, I analyzed the slippers carefully lest I make the same misinterpretation. Nevertheless, the two hanging drops of pink were indeed dainty pixie slippers, suspended on a tendril of green.
Please know that at no time did I lose sight of the fact that I had not, in reality, caught a glimpse of any wee folk in the vicinity. The only rationale I would propose is that they are small beings and in danger of being snatched up by small children, or run down by plucky rat terriers. We humans being human, perhaps it is in their best interest to stay concealed. Man has a propensity to regard small creatures as insignificant until rendering them extinct, at which time he will finally understand the magnitude of their importance.
It was true, however, that had I seen one of the wee folk dodging furtively beneath a leaf, or escaping down a secluded burrow, it would no longer have taken me by surprise. I had become a believer, and as such, a prospector of mythical creatures living alongside us, yet disguised from view.