The Faery Mound

As a child, Fairy Tales gave me a taste for questing. We were surrounded by woods full of dense trees, little streams and clearings with evidence of  long gone buildings and stone walls. The wonderful thing about the stone walls was that they provided guidance in the woods, for they always came out someplace close to home. We never had to fear getting lost.

There were many wonderful places in the woods. I loved the little swamps with their wild irises and tiger lilies, frogs leaping in the murky dark pools with fringes of ferns and mossy rocks. Like the stone walls, narrow rivulets of water beckoned me to explore deeper than I would dare to go without them to mark my path.

One autumn, I found a large mound of earth in the woods. I had followed the little stream into a swamp as it wound like a snake across a carpet of brown pine needles deep into the woods. There was a ruined stone wall to climb over that bounded a broad sloping clearing inside a ring of trees. In the middle of the clearing was a high, smooth mound of earth covered in the same dead pine leaves that lay in layers over the ground.

Most adults would say it was an old pile left over from the when the land had been clear pasture, but for me it was a mystery, imbued of course with my childish creative imaginings. But then, the way to that place was initially across the cemetery, and years later I was taught that the Fairies lived under mounds of earth, and much later was taught that those mounds of earth were the burial chambers of Kings and Queens and all their retinue. Within the mound, they held court with masques and dancing and lavish feasts, and on  certain nights of the year, they emerged on their shining horses, to chase the hare into the depths of winter and out again into the spring.

But these Faery mounds are not in America! We don’t have Kings and Queens.

But in Massachusetts we did. For two centuries we were colonies of Queen Elizabeth and then several Kings thereafter. And who is to say that some royal person was not buried in a mound near an ancient cemetery in my home town.

For me the mystery is not whether there was a mound of earth in the woods, or whether a King was buried there, or even if it was a Faery mound. It is in how the mind brings certain images together in a certain way so that the intuition grasps knowledge it didn’t have any way of knowing before hand.

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One thought on “The Faery Mound

  1. Yes Arlyne, i can relate to your formative years also. Whilst my playmates were up to ‘kid stuff’ i’d be in the forest soaking up the flora and fauna. What went wrong along the way?
    Apprecite our amity
    ian r

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