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Fascinating Facts about Fairies Scramble Squares®
Fairies are mythological supernatural beings and spirits that are either good or evil. Those who believe in fairies say that fairies reside in a place somewhere between earth and heaven and are beings who possess magical powers. Fairies have been described in various shapes and sizes. Typically a dwarf creature has green clothes and hair, lives underground or in stone mounds and exercises magical powers to benevolent ends. A fairy might also be thought to be a diminutive, delicate feminine creature, dressed in white, who resides in a fairyland and who becomes involved in human lives with good intentions. The Irish “leprechaun” is described by legend as a tiny fairy, usually wearing a cocked hat and apron, that can be either good or bad. A cobbler by trade, the tapping of the leprechaun’s cobbler hammer makes others aware of his presence. Leprechauns are thought to have a hidden crock of gold, the whereabouts of which the leprechaun will not divulge, unless he is captured and threatened with bodily harm. Only under such a threat might a leprechaun divulge the whereabouts of his treasure, but, still, only if his captor constantly watches him. Of course, inevitably, the leprechaun tricks his captor into briefly looking away, and the leprechaun vanishes.

The English word ‘fairy’ comes from the Old French faerie and from the Latin fata, meaning “fate,” probably originating from the classical Greek Fates, three women who spin and control the threads of life and who were believed to control the fate and destiny of the human race. The Old English term for fairies is fays, which means "enchanted" or "bewitched." Fairies are known by various folk names in various cultures around the world, including brownie (English and Scottish folklore), elf (German folklore), dwarf (Teutonic and Germanic folklore), troll (Norse folklore), gnome (Europe, popularized by Paracelsus), pooka (Irish folklore), kobold (German folklore), leprechaun (Irish folklore) and banshee (Irish and Celtic folklore). Fairy lore is found in almost every culture, but is most prevalent in Europe and the British Isles. Tales of fairies spread to America in colonial times and are still prevalent in the Appalachians, Ozarks, and other remote mountain regions of America. The belief in fairies seems to reach back into ancient times from the Sanskrit gandharva (semi divine celestial musicians) to the nymphs of the Greeks described by Homer and the jinni of Arabic mythology.

Fairies are believed to reside in a land where time does not exist. Fairyland is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Ever Young.” It is thought by some that persons carried off to fairyland cannot return if they eat or drink there. Fairies and humans can marry, but only with restrictions, and a violation of such a restriction immediately ends the marriage and usually the life of the human. The Prince Gottfried and the Swan Princess of the ballet Swan Lake is an example of such a fairy love story.

King James I of England, in Daemonologie, his book about witches, called Diana the goddess of witches and the "Queen of Fairies." Oberon, whom James named as the King of Fairies, was also the name of a demon summoned by magicians. Early fourteenth century English literature appears to distinguish fairies as either dwarfs (goblin-like entities who lived in burial mounds), brownies or hobgoblins (who lived in houses near the hearth and performed domestic tasks) or the White Lady fairy damsel (who was regarded as a benevolent guardian spirit). William Shakespeare created such fairies as central characters in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

There are not many people in today's society who take seriously the existence of elves and fairies, but children, today, are still brought up with the tooth fairy, the fairy godmother in Cinderella and the Seven Dwarfs of Snow White fame.

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