An essay on fairies, pixies, and elves I did for school. Research terms are used.
|Pixies, Fairies and Elves
What is a fairy? Author J.M. Barrie wrote in Peter Pan that “when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”(“Fairies,” Web). What do you think? Could you tell the difference between a fairy and an elf? A brownie and a pixie? No? Well, I’ll tell you how.
Fairies have no exact origin(“Fairies,” Web). Stories about fairies come from all different types of ancient cultures(“Fairies,” Web). “Fairy” is European and comes
from the Middle Ages(“Fairies,” Web). It means “land of the fae”(“Fairies,”
Web). “Faery is Latin(Brasey,19). It comes from “fata” meaning fates,
The Roman goddesses of destiny(Brasey,19). There are several
different types and categories of fairies(P.I.), two of which are
flower fairies(Brasey,14) and brownies(Melville,44).
Brownies are a type of fairy helper(Melville,44).
They perform household chores(Melville,44) in the dead
of night because they are careful and don’t want to be
seen by the humans they live with(Melville,44). Brownies
are very picky and if you offend one of them it will leave
never to be seen again(Melville,44). To get on a brownie’s
good side, you can leave tiny clothes as gifts or offerings
(Melville,44). Brownies can’t read and they really enjoy cow’s
milk and cookies(Melville,44).
Flower fairies are often called “ladies of nature”(Brasey,14). They hibernate
until May first(Brasey,14). Because of this May is known as fairy month(Brasey,14).
On May first the fairies wake up and move from their warm, padded winter houses to their light, airy spring houses(Brasey,14). Fairies and elves are friends(Brasey,16). They are guardians of nature and both posses magical powers(Brasey,16). Flower fairies guard certain flowers(P.I.). Certain flowers and plants belong only to fairies(Brasey,22).Two of these flowers and plants are primroses-“witch’s violets,” guarded by fairies for their hidden treasures(Brasey,21). Foxgloves- “fairy gloves,” the juice of ten of these is used to exercise children in Ireland(Brasey,21). Never pick or harm these fairy owned flowers(Brasey,21). Fairies make their homes or “nest spots” in ryegrass, groundsel and hawthorne(Brasey,21). Fairy food and human food differ. Fairies really enjoy fresh cows’ milk, honey, saffron and butter(Brasey,28). Fairies also drink flowers’ nectar(Brasey,28). A flower fairy is also dressed in the same color as its flower, so it can blend in with its home(P.I.).
Pixies are usually described as tiny, elf-like and mischievous(“Fairies,” Web). Pixies are tricksters and are said to only wear green with a green pointed cap(Melville,80). Pixies have a zest for life, childlike natures and are clever and cunning(Melville,80).A pixie is rumored to be nocturnal, pixie-leading people at night-pixie leading is like sleepwalking(Melville,80). Your best chance of seeing a pixie is going to a moor day or night in the fall.(Melville,80). There you may see them horse racing, which they love to do(Melville,80). When a pixie is spotted by a human it will turn into a mushroom
with a similar cap.
Puck is a type of pixie. Puck was made famous by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Melville,72). Puck is a prankster(Melville,72). He is mischievous, never evil(Melville,72), and loves to tease and interact with humans(Melville,72). Puck is a shape shifter(Melville,72).
Elves are beautiful, magical beings(“Fairies,” Web). Stories about elves come from a number of places including Iceland, Scandinavia, Germany and Britain(“Fairies,” Web). Fair folk is a common British name for elves(Melville,32).Elves are creatures of light(Melville,32). They have sharp features and a natural grace that comes with intelligence(Melville,32). Elves have the power to shape shift, fly and pass through objects(Melville,32). An elf hates being isolated so they live in large communities with a perfect hierarchy(Melville,32). Elves celebrate life as a ritual of love(Melville,32). They also celebrate the seasons and nature(Melville,32). Elves enjoy dancing around fairy fires(Melville,32. You rarely see an elf in daylight and they have no shadow(Melville,32). Most elves honor humans, some grieve our ignorance and viciousness and some even go as far as to shun human kind(Melville,32).
Spae wives are a type of female elf(Melville,60). They are seers who give advice, foresee futures and are highly skilled in divination(Melville,60). Their name comes from their abilities, “spae” meaning prophesy or farseeing(Melville,60). If you ever met a spae wife, it would appear to you as a tiny woman dressed in fine clothes. Spae wives are highly respected in their world.
Now you know probably more then you will ever need to know about fairies, pixies and elves. At least it will spice up conversations and come in handy if you ever meet one of these enchanting creatures.