Mudcat Café message #2064918 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102065   Message #2064918
Posted By: Bee
31-May-07 - 10:45 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: fairy tale motifs
Subject: RE: Folklore: fairy tale motifs
This is a link to the Wiki summary of the fairy tale Childe Rowland. I read this story when I was around eight or nine years old, in a fairy tale collection where it was retitled The Erl King, and some of the details were omitted or changed. The tale affected me more strongly than other equally gruesome stories, though I'm not sure why. Possibly because of the involvement of a church as an important feature (Burd Ellen walks widdershins around the church, so allowing the Erl King to capture her), as opposed to a castle or hut in the woods, which as a child I had no direct experience with.

Our family church was tiny, over 150 years old, high on a rocky hilltop in a secluded, forested, rural place, and only about fifty metres from a jumble of big rocks which the old Gaelic people (mostly immigrants from Benbecula and near islands) named the 'Creckins' (that's phonetic, I've no idea how the word is spelled), by which they meant 'Fairy Hole', and some of them believed fairies lived there. So I was always tempted to try it out, but never quite had the nerve to walk counterclockwise around the church. ;-)