by Holly Wogan
Be careful what you wish for and beware bargaining with Faeries!
|Who doesn't love a Scaerie Tale?
This one was based on an English Folk Tale about the Pig Faced Women. It's not a pretty tale but few Faerie Tales were.
On a dark, moonlit night, a Faerie woman approached a newly wed man. His union had been arranged but it was not loveless and they lived comfortably well. Still he longed for something more. He cared for his wife to much to say so, but she knew something was troubling him. Although he would never have thought it of himself, he was rather to proud, and a bit vain. He was nonetheless a good man. The Faerie woman, being very perceptive knew just where to poke and how.
The Faerie woman told him she could grant him one wish but it would come at a cost, but with it, his wife could be beautiful. She cautioned that magic always came with additional costs but the man scarcely heard her. He consulted his bride. She wanted very much to please her new husband so agreed to the terms and a deal was made. "In the morning, she will be beautiful to your eyes", the Faerie promised and departed into the thick, dark forest.
The next morning, she was indeed the loveliest lady he had ever seen. So eager was he to show off his beautiful wife that they went out to celebrate. When they arrived in town, women shuddered at the sight of her and men turned away their eyes. Her new beauty was both a blessing and a curse, while beautiful to him, she was monstrous to everyone else. She wept, demanding the Faerie woman to be found and brought to her. Her husband hired men to search, to no avail. For seven years this went on, while her beauty didn't fade, her happiness wilted and her husband was at his wits end. He loved her no less and stayed true to her, partly out of guilt and partly because she and he got on very well together.
Then one night, the Faerie reappeared at their door step. She offered a bargain for more coin and a kiss, the husband could assume the curse in his wifes' stead, but this was a limited time offer. The husbands' relief quickly turned to horror. His beautiful wife stared at him expectantly. The faerie smiled a terrible smile at him, "you will be so handsome", she said in a seductive, honeyed voice. "So, what will it be? Your wife looks impatient and you only have one chance at this" she almost sang the words. Some Faeries love to sing almost as much as they love to play and prank, which is to say, a lot. "And my wife?" he inquired. "She will be what she was before" the Faerie assured him in a gentler, almost compassionate tone. "You would do this for her?" She pressed. "You would bear her pain as your own, for all of your life?"
He nodded. and to the wife the Faerie turned, "And you would allow him to? Would you feel no regret or embarrassment by him?" The wife shrugged, "I would not force him to if he did not wish it, and would bear him no ill will if he did not. Nor will I be embarrassed by him if he did. He loved and cared for me no less, nor could I love and care for him any less. I admit though, I would like my own face, plain as it may have been, again if it please you do reverse what has been done." At this honest admission, the Faerie smiled a genuine smile. "It was not so plain as you thought. You have proven oddly honest for your kind, offering your best wine and a fine meal, even a bed for the night. You have neither demanded nor accused me in any way." She said, giving the young lady a thoughtful glance.
He accepted the deal and sealed it with a kiss as before. His wife burst into tears, grateful, she knew now that he loved her above all else. The next morning, he was shocked to discover that he was not afflicted at, and that his wife was still lovely in her own way and not just to him. They lived mostly happily every after, and went on to live many long and loving years together. The Faerie was never heard from again but being immortal it can be safely assumed that she is still out there, making bargains and playing on vanity or other soft spots.
Faeries, though often harmful can be kind as well if the mood strikes them, or if they are impressed or amused by a particular mortal. It is always best though, to mind ones manners, be a generous host, and decline to bargain with them. A boon or a gift can be safe and declining those are always foolish. Insulting a Faerie can be harmful to your health, wealth, and happiness