Fosterage is an ancient Irish custom where children were placed with an elder to be educated and reared in the ways of the clan.
So perhaps it is of no surprise that this school of thought is also the hereditary method of rearing the young by those of the otherworld, namely the Sidhe or as some would term them the Faerie Folk.
Many of you will already know of our long term resident, the truculent and sometimes irascible Hazel who has a fondness for more than a drop of the hard stuff, though as he frequently reminds me, it is just his nature and who can argue with that, for he is one of natures’ beings.
We arose the other morning and Hazel was missing from his normal abode. Not a sight nor sound came from the undergrowth where he rests and with no tracks to follow we did not bother to do a search. He was gone from us for several days and so we concluded that he was off on an important mission.
I felt that he would be back by the time of the next Full Moon, it being an important one.
It is at this time of year, especially when the moon is bright, that he and the lads have many a game of hurling at midnight, running up and down the pitch that lies between the two ancient Whitethorns that stand within three hundred yards to the south of our cottage.
Yesterday was a chilly winter’s day, being one of those when you are glad to be indoors with the heat of the stove flowing over your back, warming you into a sleepy contentedness.
So here was I, sitting in the corner of the front room at my desk staring idly at the computer screen in a world of my own, when the room suddenly went black. The only light came from the screen so my eyes went to the window to see what the cause of the darkness was. Peering through the glass I saw a giant dressed in colourful stripy trousers.
You can imagine how shocked I was.
I grabbed my robe from the peg where it always hangs, draped it around me then went outside.
There he was. An eight foot tall Hazel standing in the backyard next to the hedge.
Well, I had often been told that they were capable of re-sizing themselves but this was the first time that I had been a witness to that fact.
Giant Hazel and little me.
The giant Hazel smiled warmly at me and said
“ I hope that my size did not frighten you,
if you would just close your eyes for three seconds I will return to my normal height.”
“I am glad that you have returned to us,” I replied, “you have been missed, Hazel and my intuition told me you were on an important mission so I didn’t worry.
“ Yes, you were right, a very important mission indeed,” answered Hazel.
“I have brought my fosterling to stay, her name is Droocta. As is the custom she will stay in her pod for the next five years.”
Hazel pointed to the stone circle so I turned to see a strange, green pod sitting amongst the leaves.
A strange pod amongst the leaves.
“ Errrr, what can I say? I hope that you will have fun together.” I stammered.
Let me tell you, Droocta is a strange looking child, of different proportions to human children; but part of creation nonetheless.
Hazel and Droocta
When I left them Hazel was sitting in the circle with Droocta in her pod upon his lap.
They both seemed very happy.
I really wanted to ask him if the five years that Droocta had to stay in the pod was in their time or ours, for there is, as you probably know, a big difference.
So do you my readers in the blogging world have any friends like Hazel ?
© MRL 2016
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