fantasy myth

I’m all for fantasy stories where supernatural characters protect their human friends, but does anyone else want some stories where the humans are the ones who are looking after their supernatural friends?


  • A human girl exchanging her silver engagement ring for a cheaper one after she realises why her werewolf friend has been refusing to high five her.
  • A group of humans throwing coats over their vampire friend because he forgot it was the Summer solstice and was caught out by the sunrise. Those same friends coming to visit him when he wakes up in the late afternoon, bringing him blood from the butcher’s and putting up with his whining about the nights being shorter.
  • A human hearing that someone stole their selkie friends pelt and coming over to her new “husband"s house immediately and threatening to punch his lights out unless he tells them where it is.
  • Humans petitioning the counsel to build a wooden climbing frame in the local playground because the old one has iron parts and their fairy friend’s kids can’t use it without burning themselves.


I’ll post more if I can come up with any.

People often misunderstand what the old saying about a cat having nine lives means. The cats prefer to keep it a secret, as most humans can’t be trusted with information so fragile and precious, but there are exceptions.

The merchant who shares his leftover fish. The young girl that hides littler after litter of newborn ones in her room until they find new homes. The old man with scars who still has enough kindness to open his shed to let them slip in from the rain. Boys, teenagers, mothers, warriors, brothers - some are trusted.

Exceptions, yes, few nowadays and rare, but honoured all the more.

So nine lives there are indeed. Each cat is born with them and no matter the time or place, they are lost easily.

This is where the story ends for most people.

But for those who are trusted, those who wake up one morning and find a weird taste in their mouth, the scent of a forest never touched by human hands in their nose, and a strange lingering touch of whiskers on their forehead - they know the truth.

Nine lives for this world, is what all our legends used to say.

You, friend of cats, know the ancient, almost forgotten sayings.

You know of cat eyes shining in the deepest night when they shouldn’t be able to. You know of cats staring past your ear, at that forbidden spot right by the frayed corner of your vision, and you fear that if you look, your cat won’t be able to stare it into submission anymore. You don’t look. The cat purrs. You’re safe.

The kittens have all their lives still. They do not look at the edgewalking beasts that whisper through their humans’ house. It will take time until they fall, hurt, learn.

The oldest cats know so much that a touch of their paw will make an entire village shudder. Their quiet voices cast spells. Let them roam. You cannot imagine the things that flee from them as they walk in silence.

Cat friend, you know it in your heart.

You know of the paths they walk that human feet can’t find.

You know of the nights they vanish and return with the scent of blood, earth and salt in their fur, and when your fingers touch their coat, a cold shiver awakes your skin.

Sometimes, they hear things. You don’t know what, but you know enough to let them sit in front of your house or room, paws tucked under, dark stare never leaving an invisible spot in the air.

And when you float between sleep and life, when you’re unlucky enough to claw at the edge of death before you’re ready to go…

Then maybe, friend of cats, you’ll feel a brush of fur along your legs. Maybe, just before you startle with awe in your heart and wake once more, the same pair of eyes that should sleep by your side winks at you from another world.

2

If you liked my purple and white dragon with toebeans, then you’ll love this Faerie dragon with its TWO-TONED TOEBEANS!

I love this colour combination so much! It looks fiery and Halloween-ey all at the same time!

This dragon and others available in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/PeaceInDragons

‘Deep as Hell Kettles’
15.5x19.5 inches
Mixed media on watercolor paper

The Hell Kettles, three small circular ponds about seventeen feet deep near Darlington, have long been regarded with superstitious awe. Holinshead’s Chronicle reports:

There are certaine pittes or rather three little pools a myle from Darlington, and a quarter of a myle distant from the These [Tees] bankes, which ye people call the Kettles of hell, or the devil’s Ketteles, as if he should seethe souls of sinful men and women in them: they adde also that the spirites have oft been hearde to cry and yell about them…

It’s added that “the water is nowe and then warme,” and seventeenth century chronicler William Camden had heard the same - ‘“The common people tearme them Hel-Kettles, because the water in them by the Antiperistasis or reverberation of the cold aire striking thereupon, waxeth hot.”

But had Holinstead or Camden tested the water? Or had they simply heard the pits described in much the same terms as were used in 1634 by the Military Company, who dispatched “a captain, a lieutenant, and an ancient” on a survey and ultimately reported: ”The three admired deep pitts, called Hell Kettles, we left boiling by Darlington”? This might refer to heat or motion, as the kettles contain vigorous springs, and the water was certainly not hot in the nineteenth century, nor indeed at the turn of the seventeenth.

Camden had said that the pits were “of wonderful depth” and this was put to the test by “a very ingenious Gentleman” on behalf of Camden’s translator:

Sir,
According to the promise which I made you, I went to sound the depth of Hell-Kettles near Darlington. The name of the bottomless pits made me provide myself with a line above a hundred fathoms long … but much smaller preparations would have served: for the deepest of them took but fifteen fathoms, or thirty yards of our line. I cannot imagine upon what grounds the people of the Country have supposed them to be bottomless…

That more than one person must have known that the Kettles were not very deep did nothing to dampen the belief that they were bottomless, and in the nineteenth century they were proverbial - “As Deep as Hell Kettles.” Regarding their origin, Camden was probably nearer the mark when he reported the belief of the wiser sort that they had come by the sinking down of the ground swallowed up in some earth-quake. This might have been the one described in a Chronicle from 1328:

1179. About Christmas, a wonderful and unheard of event fell out at Oxenhale [part of Darlington township], that …the ground rose up on high with such vehemence, that it was equal to the highest tops of mountains, and towered above the lofty pinnacles of the churches; and at that height remained from the ninth hour of the day to sunset. But at sunset it fell with so horrible a crash that it terrified all who saw that heap, and heard the noise of its fall, whence many died from that fear; for the earth swallowed it up, and caused in the same place a very deep pit.

Whether or not they were created thus in 1179, a tradition of an earthquake seems to lie behind a tale told here in the nineteenth century. According to some versions, the farmer who centuries ago owned the land was about to cart his hay on St Barnabas’s Day, and when reproved for this act of impiety replied:

“Barnaby yea, Barnaby nay,
A cart-load of hay, whether God will or nay!”

Instantly he, his carts and horses were swallowed up in the pools, where they can still be seen on a fine day with clear water, floating midway, many fathoms deep.

How to feel like a dryad

*Laugh loudly and with inhibition

*Bend with the breeze and stand firm against the storm–be flexible but stand firm on your principles and convictions

*Wear perfume with pine or cedar or vanilla

*Dress in natural colors–forest greens, unbleached whites, autumn reds and oranges, earth browns

*Sit quietly in the sun and drink up the light or bask in the moonlight after dusk

*Spend time with friends for no other reason but to enjoy their company

*Dance frequently–alone, with friends, with your lover, with family

*Sing. Your voice is beautiful

*Wear light makeup or just go barefaced–what can compare to the natural beauty of a tree? Nothing. And nothing compares to you either

*Go hiking (wear good shoes)

*Use a natural oil on your face (e.g. argan oil, safflower, rosehip, hemp)

*Shed toxic relationships like fall leaves

*Sit under trees–talk to them if you feel like it (they are very good listeners)

*Brush your hair out and let it be free (alternatively, if you have hair that can’t be brushed, shake it out and let it do its thing)

*Reuse and recycle

*Trim your nails to a practical length