Snugged up against my Oleanders, Hollis Hollow is for the slightly wild Fae that live at the bottom of my garden.
I have a pod of fae that are trooping around the west side of my property. I suppose they’ve always been there, even before we remodeled the house and extended the new kitchen out into their space. Now my pantry is right smack in the middle of the fairy highway, and none of us are too pleased.
It started with unseen things that the cat would stare at, endlessly fascinated. I would turn to look at that spot on the ceiling, but couldn’t see a thing. Then there were noises. Little scritching sounds, like that of a mouse scratching along a baseboard in an empty room. Noises that spooked the dog. He would jerk awake from a sound sleep on the living room floor, and stare down at a spot in the dining room. I heard the noises; rather like the quiet whisperings of those who really wanted to be quiet, and, if not for the sensitive ears of my dog, would have gone totally unnoticed. I think at first they didn’t want to disturb; they seemed to never want human attention.
Then it progressed to moving stuff around. Eyeglasses, keys, the remote, the good scissors. Never where I left them. We took it all in good humor, even to the point of asking them to return things they’d “moved”. We would write very small words on tiny Post-It notes and leave them in the dining room, where most of the activity was occurring. Usually they’d take the Post-It notes, too. But once in a great while a “borrowed” item would re-appear in an unexpected place.
I determined that they needed a spot of their own, a little shelf in the dining room where I could leave notes, and little offerings of milk, honey, and fresh water. It became a faery altar somewhere along the way. There are a couple of phony faeries there, and interesting sticks, acorns, and tiny gourds. Plus some shiny beads that I got at a Mardi Gras party (and irresistible to the Fae). They pretty much ignore it, but they do like the spring water. That was easy enough to live with.
Then I saw one.
It was about 3:00 in the afternoon, on a weekday. I was home alone, and puttering about the kitchen. I was at the sink and happened to glance out the huge window over the sink that looks out over the backyard and the mountain range behind our home. Right in front of the window, on the walkway that led to the chicken coop, was a woman. An old woman. She was about 4 1/2 feet tall. She had white hair that fell to her shoulders and moved with the breeze. She was wrapped in a gray sweater that had a large turtleneck top that was pulled up high enough to cover her mouth and chin. She walked past the window, never looking in at me, but simply moving straight ahead. I froze, totally gobsmacked. She passed out of view to the left. When I regained my wits, I ran to another window 3 feet away, to see who in the hell was in my backyard. There was nothing there, just a very still, slightly cloudy afternoon. The hens pecked around in the dirt as if nothing had happened. I went outside and continued the search; front yard, back yard, side yards, garage, up and down the street….nothing. It didn’t escape my notice that she was walking on the west side of the property, near the newly remodeled area. I mulled it over for a couple of days and what kept occurring to me is that she had a rather dignified homeless look about her. Slightly unkempt, but regal, nonetheless. Had we displaced her and her kind by expanding our house out into the west side green space? But what about the faery altar…wasn’t that an apology of sorts? Apparently not. What I think they want is a house.
Close-up of the eaves at Hollis Hollow
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