Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Caution! Fairie Crossing

US developers think they have it bad, having to plan around spotted owls and other endangered species. Little do they know what other wee creatures could be in the way...

Fairies stop developers' bulldozers in their tracks

VILLAGERS who protested that a new housing estate would "harm the fairies" living in their midst have forced a property company to scrap its building plans and start again.

Marcus Salter, head of Genesis Properties, estimates that the small colony of fairies believed to live beneath a rock in St Fillans, Perthshire, has cost him £15,000. His first notice of the residential sensibilities of the netherworld came as his diggers moved on to a site on the outskirts of the village, which crowns the easterly shore of Loch Earn.

He said: "A neighbour came over shouting, `Don't move that rock. You'll kill the fairies'." The rock protruded from the centre of a gently shelving field, edged by the steep slopes of Dundurn mountain, where in the sixth century the Celtic missionary St Fillan set up camp and attempted to convert the Picts from the pagan darkness of superstition.

"Then we got a series of phone calls, saying we were disturbing the fairies. I thought they were joking. It didn't go down very well," Mr Salter said.

In fact, even as his firm attempted to work around the rock, they received complaints that the fairies would be "upset". Mr Salter still believed he was dealing with a vocal minority, but the gears of Perthshire's planning process were about to be clogged by something that looked suspiciously like fairy dust.

[...]

"A lot of people think the rock had some Pictish meaning," Mrs Fox said. "It would be extremely unlucky to move it."

Mr Salter did not just want to move the rock. He wanted to dig it up, cart it to the roadside and brand it with the name of his new neighbourhood.

The Planning Inspectorate has no specific guidelines on fairies but a spokesman said: "Planning guidance states that local customs and beliefs must be taken into account when a developer applies for planning permission." Mr Salter said: "We had to redesign the entire thing from scratch."

The new estate will now centre on a small park, in the middle of which stands a curious rock. Work begins next month, if the fairies allow.

This is even better than the Garden Gnome Liberation Front!

I showed this story to a British friend, mainly because I wasn't sure if it was something real or a spoof (British humor is sometimes difficult to get... there you are, laughing away and then you finally figure out that the joke was on you). Anyway, he said that it seemed real to him... in many rural societies in Britain pixies and elves and fairies are still very much believed in. Or, at least such a part of the thousands of years old (pre-Christianity) traditions that actual belief or disbelief is immaterial.

That makes sense and considering that a number of cultures have `little people' traditions, although by different names, well... who knows?

[This is a news article from the beginning of the year I am just posting as filler, cuz everyone seems to be on writer's block break. Besides... in my opinion, it's just the best story ever. ]

10 Comments:

Blogger Djangalaang said...

Good for them. Somebody has to stand up for our miniature brethren.

9/06/2006 3:07 am  
Blogger Arcturus said...

tradition/belief -- a culture rooted in place -- I love it!

btw, I recently took a -- still in gestation

9/06/2006 3:59 am  
Blogger Arcturus said...

hmmm, lost the word plunge there

9/06/2006 4:00 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

I pretty much hate blogger, I think. Couldn't get into the comments this morning at all.

Thanks for visiting inFlight djangalaang! And yes, where would we be without our pixies and elves and fairies, I ask you.

9/06/2006 6:37 pm  
Blogger Nanette said...

Well done on the plunge, Arcturus! I've looked at it a bit, and will go back and read it, but I can't wait til you really start going.

You have such interesting thoughts and ways of looking at things (and connecting them to other things, and poetry and so on) that I look forward to seeing what you come up with in a place where you have room to sort of sprawl out and write what you want, when you want, and as often as you want.

9/06/2006 6:40 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

Nice to know that some people still have their priorities straight :o) Little people rock!

I think I told you in a comment to this at Human Beams, Nanette, that my late Grandma Mary, from County Mayo, told me about a similar stone when I was a little dude, that was inhabited by Faeries, and that when she put her ear to the stone she could hear pots and pans rattling around inside :o)

That's what I consider a beautiful mind :o)

9/07/2006 12:57 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

super, yes that is a beautiful mind. Pots and pans rattling around, lol.

It's funny how these little people (or somethings) stories seem to occur almost every culture (that I've heard of, anyway). Some benign, some tricky, some downright nasty, but all very tiny.

I was thinking that I'd not heard of them in Native American cultural stories, but then I remembered that that is not so... I forget the name of the nation (Seneca? somewhere in upstate NY) but they apparently also have little people stories, they live under bridges, or by other water, and like gifts of tobacco and other stuff. I think that is the story, anyway.

Fun stuff.. I might do some (light) research on this matter, see what I come up with.

9/07/2006 6:16 pm  
Blogger Arcturus said...

Thanks for the kind words, Nanette. We'll see where it goes -- don't really have a 'mission' beyond my own scattered concerns.

You'll certainly find tales of 'em in the native american lore. Don't have time to go hunting at the moment, but as a 'fer instance, the Paiute (?), Shoshone (?) of the Great Basin [likely both] tell tales of 'water-babies'-- magical creatures with dangerous abilities. If I recall correctly (it's been 15 years or so since I looked at this), the word for them was related to the one for "power," puha also related to the word for "water" (which I forget, but may be something like pa).

Enough of that 'little people' 'wee folk' crap, super: that's vertical-developmentally-challenged to you, Sir!

9/07/2006 7:24 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Nobody knows exactly where the Picts came from. Some ologists say Iberia, others have suggested the Asian subcontinent. And other, wiser folk suggest certain local rocks. ;)

In any event, there are things in those rocks, as in the rest of heaven and earth, that are not dreamed of in the philosophy of developers...

And congratulations on your bloghood, Arcturus. I predict that you will, as in all your rhetorical endeavors on these internets, "kick some major butt." ;)

9/08/2006 12:46 pm  
Blogger Jyoti said...

We are a human rights organization called Breakthrough. We work on immigrants rights issues, especially those pertaining to detention and deportation. Please send me an email if you'd like to receive our media material (videos) in the future.

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8/30/2007 9:38 pm  

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