Post #28.4, Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Historical setting: 589 C.E. when Brittany was forest

         The Druid is going to make sense of his mention of a folk myth in which a fair maiden kisses a frog. It has to do with Thole being missing. Even though these people know the Celtic lore of “shape changing,” could anyone really believe they’ve made Thole into a frog? I await the explanation.

         The Druid speaks.

         “Twenty-one years ago I looked over my people and realized a terrible fate awaited us. Younger then, I realized with no new babies born to us our tribe would just disappear from this earth above. We had a few old men, and the only two women who were still of an age to bear children were without mates. So I myself planted my seed, and one of the two women had a child. She was one that would be set out to the wolves. But neither I, nor her mother could bear that thought. For some reason, the poor infant with the clubfoot, my nose, and the chin I hide with beard seemed to us a beautiful person.

         “We hid her in the cloaks of an elder as first she was an elfin size, now she is the size of a small woman and she has become beloved among the whole tribe even though she is gnarled. She has a cheerful and gentle nature.

         “In that way our own fair maiden is the frog in the legend. And your boy Thole is the fair maiden.”

         I laugh.

         Guldilyn snarls,  “A fairy changeling.[Footnote] You had a responsibility to put it out to the wolves when it was still a babe. What will become of your people with such a mother for the new generation?”

         “She was no changeling.” The druid argues. “She was our own child. She is loved.”

         My quiet prayer, Dear God thank you for keeping Thole safe and for giving him imagination to see beauty. May they both discover they are drenched in blessings of your love who are the Creator of all creation and the all-loving parent. Amen.

         Guldilyn argues, “But we get to keep this dark-haired one. He may yet learn to hunt.”

         I speak for myself, “Guldilyn, if I follow your tribe it will be my choice and the only reason would be so your hunters can lead me to the Christian you mentioned, Columbanus.”

[Footnote] Sugg, Richard, “Fairies: A Dangerous History” (2018 Reakton Books) pp. 97-108 documents instances in recent centuries of belief in supernatural abductions and replacement of young children by fairies, exchanging healthy babies for children with various abnormal developmental conditions. The author discusses possible genetic conditions identified by modern science that may have been associated with this superstition and he also discusses the parent’s need this meets to explain their dismay. The fiction of this blog is an atypical example.

(Continues tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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