I looked at the search terms for people finding my nice shiny new blog and it turns out that everyone that has found this blog from a Google search has been interested in finding the truth about fairies. Quite why Google has been sending such requests here is unknown, but I guess I might as well take the time to settle the question, just so those people haven’t come all this way for nothing.
So, fairies… fact of fiction?
Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. There’s a lot of mythos regarding fairies, and a lot of it is contradictory and so it’s hard to know exactly what people mean when they say “fairy”.
For example: Tinkerbell?
Definitely a fictional character.
In the same way that Micky Mouse isn’t an accurate representation of a mouse, you can’t expect tinkerbell to be an accurate reflection of a fairy.
So what in the inspiration for the fairy cartoon?
Well, ancient remains of a wild fairy discovered in a bog in England may provide the answer! Although partly decomposed, this gives a good insight into the kind of creature may have inspired the fairy stories.
The fairy, which probably fell into the bog while singing, has been mummified by the bog and is thought to be over two hundred thousand years old.
Also, a fairy fossil has been discovered in an Australian cave. This is thought to be a different species of fairy, but of a similar age.
Both fairies are female and look very much like small people. It is thought that the British bog fairy was a carnivorous creature that hunted mostly beetles and mice. Her Australian cousin has a more rounded tooth structure and is thought to have been a vegetarian.
It is thought that fairies were once quite common, however it is unusual to find evidence of them. Scientists believe that this is due to their fragile bodies being easily broken down by the elements when they die.
It is thought that faries were once part of daily life in the villages of England. In same way that coca-cola used to contain real cocaine, fairy cakes used to contain real fairy dust. In ancient times it was not unusual for a baker to keep a fairy in a semi-domestic capacity and to use the dust from its wings to make fairy cakes. The British Bog fairy also served as an alternative to keeping a cat as she would hunt and kill mice that tried to get into the grain store. When cocaine became morally wrong and hence illegal, its use was banned and now coca-cola must rely on sugar and caffeine for its addictive qualities. In a similar way, the fairy cake also resorted to using sugar to replace its active ingredient. However, this was for a very different reason.
In 1837, Thomas Hedley discovered that the essence of a fairy was actually fantastically good for making bubbles. It turns out; it was also very good at giving things a sparkling clean shine. He immediately founded a soap company in Newcastle, England. He hunted wild fairies and in his small factory he used them to make soap. He bought the rights to the word ‘Fairy’ from Fairbanks and launched the first all-purpose soap in 1898.
In 1930, Thomas Hedley was struggling as he had hunted the English fairies into extinction and now relied on those caught abroad to make his soap. Procter and Gamble took over the fairy soap company and decided to make a more efficient use of fairies. They began a large scale fairy breeding program designed breed a juicier and less flighty fairy. Today, large battery breeding cages filled with plump, wingless creatures are all that is left of the once glorious fairy.
They blink in the neon lights of the factories and are fed on high protein gruel until they are fat enough to process. The processing involves fairies being put into a metal cylinder and then pressed thru a mesh to release the essence. The husks are used as one of the ingredients in the food for the other fairies; the bright green juice is used as an additive for the cleaning products industry.
So what about wild fairies? Are there any left?
Sadly, with the over hunting, increase in complaining, and the eradication of her natrual habitat, the wild fairy is all but extinct. There may be some still living in San Francisco or the wilds of Borneo, but wherever they are, they’re keeping well hidden…