Before the 17th century, fairies, also known as elves, goblins, pixies, ‘the little people’ or ‘the hidden people’, were feared and thought to be cruel and dangerous. But after that they were thought of as tiny, cute, lovable, angel-like creatures with wings.

Some thought they were spirits of wood and water, others — that they were restless ghots of non-christened babies, yet others thought they were a separate creation like humans and animals.

They were smaller than ordinary people — the size of children, about of four feet. Their dress was green or brown. Occasionally they were naked. They lived in lonely places and were nocturnal by nature.

Fairies generally hated humans and stole their babies, tools, saucepans, food and clothing. At night they raided the fruit trees and milked the cows. Sometimes they were friendly. They did household jobs and mended things on the farm in return for food and old clothes.

The first thing we notice about these people is that their needs were not at all supernatural. They wanted food and were ready to work or steal in order to get it. Surely these were not ghosts or spirirts. Who were they then? We will never know the truth about the fairies.

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