A Real Fairy Story


Yesterday, I posted about how the path my pumpkin plant and the stone border seemed to make a path, leading down to the bottom of the garden, and I said that maybe it led to the fairies that lived there. Danielle, from A Work in Progress, commented that in the US they don’t have the tradition of fairies. Perhaps this is my own ignorance showing, but I don’t think it had occurred to me that the fairies hadn’t made it across the Atlantic!

So, I thought I’d give you my only real fairy story, as it happened to me. While my husband was still my fiancee, we took a trip up to the isle of Skye. He had worked there for a while, and I had never been, so we booked into the local youth hostel, hired a car and drove up for a weekend. As we drove, we planned out all the things we wanted to do when we got there, and one of the things that he mentioned was that he wanted me to see the Fairy Glen at Uig. I’d never heard of it, but I was keen to go and check it out! So, on the second day of our sojourn, we traveled up from Kyleakin to Uig to check out the Fairy Glen. It really is an amazing place; these strange steep-sided hills are scattered haphazardly throughout the glen, with crystal clear pools of water glistening in the small valleys. It feels like you’ve wandered out of the ‘real’ world of traffic, technology and crowds, and into this sphere of calm, where the silence is so complete that you could be swimming underwater. Over dinner that evening, we decided that we would go back to the fairy glen under the cover of darkness, and see if we could spot any of the ‘little people’. I think we both knew that it was silly, but it can be such fun to suspend the soul-crushing disbelief in which so many live their day to day lives. Anyway, we headed out to the Fairy Glen, and it was so dark. I don’t think I fully appreciated just how dark, until the car headlights were turned off, and we began walking between the fairy hills and passed the fairy pools. Pretty soon that darkness became that velvety blackness where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, and you have to keep blinking your eyes just to check that you still have them open. The silence was only disturbed by our own footfalls and, when we stopped, there was no noise at all. Deprived of two senses, I started to feel a small flutter of panic. I’m a city girl at heart, and so being outside in the dark was completely unfamiliar to me. Really in the world in which I live in there is no real darkness, no real silence. My heart started to speed up, my eyes kept straining to see some light, my ears to hear some sound. Nothing…. And then, somewhere about 20 feet to our left, someone coughed. I don’t think my body had ever experienced such a rush of adrenalin, either then or since, and, holding hands, my fiancee and I ran blindly back towards the direction of the car. Throwing ourselves into the car and locking the doors, we both looked at each other, and started to laugh. Great belly laughs which seemed to shake our entire beings and made our eyes weep. We sat for a while, until we reined our giggles in, and then we sat a while longer waiting to see if anyone would follow us out of the glen. There were no cars parked there but ours, and no-one showed up, so eventually we started the drive back to the hostel. Now, I don’t know if it was the fairies playing tricks on us, or someone out for a quiet stroll (in the pitch black?), but I do know that I’ve never ran so fast or laughed so hard as I did when I visited the Fairy Glen.


September 4, 2007. Inspiration.


  1. Danielle replied:

    What a great story. No doubt someone will prove me wrong about no fairy tradition in the US, but as a kid fairies were only in books–they weren’t real. When I went to Ireland people would talk about them as if they lived under those huge stones (how else did they get in the middle of some field?). I’ve never come across something like that here. It is sort of nice to think fairies exist.

  2. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Danielle! I’m glad you liked the story. I was speaking to my husband about it and he reminded me of some of the fairy folklore. Apparently, if you walk around the fairy mound 7 times, it will open up and the fairies will carry you away. It was so dark when I was there, I couldn’t even see the mounds. I could have walked around them several times and never have known!

  3. Sugar Mouse In The Rain replied:

    It’s great to have such fun and memories with your husband.

  4. amypalko replied:

    Do you know, Sugar Mouse, I think the secret to all great relationships is laughter. If you can laugh together in the good times, you’ll get through the bad times more or less intact. Wishing you lots of laughs today!

  5. Seeded web « Heroes Not Zombies replied:

    […] I love the idea of webs. It reminds me of Deleuze’s metaphor of the rhizome – the sprawling root system of a plant with no centre and no core – defined by its connections. It’s the metaphor of the network, of communities, of collaboration and inter-independence. This particular web is stunning because it is thickly coated in wind-blown seeds. The image of seeds, and the image of the web, entwined like this is exciting. It suggests connections, beginnings and endings. Look at it again – it’s like a fairy hammock – maybe that’s what it is! A place for fairies to relax and chill out – what do you think, Amy? A nice relaxing bed for your fairies (after they’ve done with all that coughing and scaring the tourists!!?) […]

  6. megan replied:

    but r fairies real like other magical(sp) creachers(sp)

  7. megan replied:

    i just don’t get it
    please e-mail me

  8. amypalko replied:

    Well, Megan, I’m afraid I’m none the wiser after my experience. I have noticed though, that an inordinate number of people are googling ‘are fairies real?’ and ending up at this post. You are all most welcome at Lives Less Ordinary, and I hope you stay for a bit of a browse; you’ll find beautiful photographs, the odd recipe and lots of personal anecdotes, like the one above. What you will not find, however, is a definitive answer to the existence of fairies. Sorry if this is disappointing! I wish you well in your search for confirmation 🙂

  9. Fathers and daughters. Happy Birthday Amy « Heroes Not Zombies replied:

    […] 7th, 2007 by bobleckridge It’s Amy’s birthday today. Happy Birthday […]

  10. Tinkerbell replied:

    Do you think fairys are real? If so emil me please.I am relly intrested in fairys so if you emil me send me some more story, pictures .

  11. amypalko replied:

    Tinkerbell, I have no idea whether fairies exist or not. The point of the post was to share the experience I had when I visited the fairy glen. I am not an authority on the subject of real fairies, I’m afraid, and so cannot provide the confirmation you’re looking for. I do hope, however, that you enjoyed the story for what it’s worth.

  12. Erin replied:

    I had an expierence in upstate ny (my home-4 acres of woodland).
    I was outside in the hottub with a friend. I suddenly said “look now! There!” and pointed to a spot in the sky. We saw the most beautiful shooting star exactly where I pointed. After we made our wishes we talked about what had just happened.There was no way that I could have known that the shooting star would shoot at that exact time in the exact place that I pointed…I had heard the voice of an elder man.The voice sounded as if it came from a very small person (about 2ft tall). It’s very hard to explain but that was the impression I got from the voice that I had heard. My friend did not hear the voice but he did wittness the rest. I did not get the impression that this was a fairy or winged being but was another sort of little person.

    Another time with a different friend we were in her hottub in the adirondaks. The two of us saw faerie lights about 30ft from us at the edge of the woods. We got out to explore them. There were 5 of them and they definatly were not fireflys. They were very very brightly lit and about 4 times the size of the fireflys with pinkish -golden light. The fireflys have a greenish glow.We also heard music and singing. It was very faint and the voices were very tiny. The singing sounded like it came from beings about the size of my finger.Those I believe were faeries.


  13. khaddu replied:

    wow!!! i want 2 meet a fairy tooo….

  14. Carly replied:

    I have had expierience but Im not telling right now, sorry but where was this fairy glen place?

  15. Kelly replied:

    Okay, so I’m just a young 13 year old girl with a huge obsession with faeries. My big sister and I used to believe in faeries and play games about them when we were young. But as time went by faeries became more of just a fairytale to her. When she entered junior high I was the on my own to still carry on my childhood dream of one day proving the existance of faeries. But I’ve had several experiences with the world of “makebelieve” faeries. Most of these occurrences happen when the weather is nice and the flowers begin to bloom (like the setting of most faerie sightings and occurrences). I am a girl of both natural beauty and makebelieve. I love to go to naturally green and flowery places and feel like I am entering a place of magic, where you could expect to see faeries sitting on petals and a unicorn could just fly past your head. Anyway, several times when everything is quiet and it’s like I described before, I hear strange sounds. It sounds Almost like a small, soft hum comming from flower gardens and bushes. And then this one time when I was alone and everything was quiet, I saw a shiimering glow floating above a flower and I heard that same strange humming sound but now it almost sounded like singing and it was comming from where I saw the shimmering glow. So very quietly I went to go check it out’ but when I got too close the glow “flew” down and sank beneath the flower garden. But I still sometimes hear that sound and see those shimmering figures in late spring, but I can never get too close to tell if it actually is a faerie. But I am still young and one day I hope to prove the existance of these creatures. This was a true story.

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