In the 1812 edition of Brothers Grimm "Snow White", the Evil Queen is Snow White's actual mother and not her step mother.Visualize this: You are huddled beside the fireplace, watching the crepitating wood burn by; and just as the rocker chair moves, you know your promise of fantasy world is going to be fulfilled, and a soothing voice starts with "Once upon a time..."
Entrancing stories about magical creatures continue to intrigue minds and take dreamers to wonderful realms of fantasy. Ever wondered where this came from? The concept of 'fairy' exists in every country of the world. Be it nymphs and dryads from Greek mythology, cluricauns or leprechauns from Ireland, to Elves, Pixies, and Spriggans from England, or Chin-Chin Kobakama from Japan, these mythical creatures glorify stories and carry the element of mystery.
Some believe the fairies to be spirits of the dead, while some believe them to be fallen angels. Though the exact provenance of fairies is unknown, the idea of fairy is very dear to the English folklore. Since centuries, fairies have been painting the imagination of children and adults alike with their benevolence, notoriety, and magical powers. Find out some interesting facets about these magical creatures in the following list.
1. AsraiAsrai is an aquatic fairy, similar to Mermaid and Selkie. Asrai is believed to reside in deep water and grows only by the light of the Moon. Breathtakingly beautiful and shy, she is known to surface once in a century. Asrai is afraid of daylight and if caught or exposed to sunlight, she instantly melts into a pool of water and dies.
Power: Asrai's touch is believed to be very cold; if she ever touches a human skin, it can never feel warm again.
2. PixiePixies are little fairies with gossamer wings, pointed noses and ears, and big heads (pretty big for little fairies). They are affable fairies but are also known to be pranksters, who have a reputation of misleading travelers. They love flowers and are also known to assist in household chores.
Power: Pixies possess the power of shape-shifting that allows them to change their appearance into a different form or being. Pixies can also increase or decrease their size.
3. ElfElves are believed to be half humans of extraordinary beauty who dwell in forests, caves, hills or rocks, and springs. Elves are typically characterized by pointed ears, large expressive eyes, and beautiful features.
Power: Though Elves are not immortals, they have good longevity, which allows them to live for centuries. Elves are known to possess a natural defense against dark powers. They are also endowed with exceptional sense of sight and hearing, and gifted with agility and grace.
Merpeople are alluring people who have human appearance above the waist and fish-like tail and fins below. Merpeople include the popular mermaid and merman, who are the denizens of the deep ocean and seas. Mermaids are known to lure sailors with their enchanting beauty and lead them to their death. While, mermaids are mostly portrayed negatively, there are some mermaids who bring good luck and grant wishes to the sailors, when encountered.
Power: All mermaids can manipulate the sea. Right from freezing and boiling the water to creating storm, mermaids possess strong powers. Some mermaids are even known to foretell the future.
5. BansheeBanshee is a popular fairy of Irish descent whose eerie wailing portends death. Banshee is a fairy woman who is either seen as a beautiful woman or a hag in unkempt robe, who laments to warn a household of the death of its member.
Power: Banshee is popularly known as the Death Messenger as she is believed to possess foreknowledge of death.
6. LeprechaunLeprechauns are known to live in Ireland and are often garbed in red or green clothing. Devious little fairies, Leprechauns like to live solitary lives and are shoemakers by profession.
Power: Leprechauns are magical creatures that grant three wishes in turn for their freedom when caught by a human.
7. BrownieBrownies are benevolent fairies who help the sick and old people. Brownie gets his name for his brown face and hair. Brownies are not visible to ordinary people and can be only seen by those who possess second sight. Brownies offer their household services in exchange of honey, bread, and hood.
Power: Brownies possess the power of shape-shifting, using which, they can they can transform themselves into different forms. They mostly like to turn themselves into farm or domestic animals.
Legends and tales of fairies are found in almost every culture of the world. So while the world continues to debate over their existence, these mystical creatures continue to fascinate millions of children every night through stories and books.