A Story

From a newsletter a few weeks back...

And finally because I've been meaning to do this for days now - a story inspired by @MythologyBot - D1385.19 Clothing protects from evil spirit.

There once was a small girl.  She was out collecting pears in the orchard when a wisp of smoke appeared and said to her "little girl, little girl, what are you doing here all alone?"  The only reasonable response she could think of was the truth.  "My mama sent me to collect pears for breakfast later this week. Now be gone and let me attend to my task."  And the wisp of smoke disappeared in a twist of the wind.  The girl went back to collecting her pears.

After a while, a larger plume of smoke appeared and said to her, "Little girl, little girl, who's permission do you have to collect pears from this land?" The smoke spiraled and spun in the soft breeze, faintly mesmerizing her.  Still it had asked a question, and the only response she could think of was to answer with the truth. "My grandmother owns this land, as was given to her by her grandmother, since time immemorial. She has given me permission to gather the fruits here."  She watched the smoke shift and the changing blues and greys, then remembered, "Now be gone and let me attend to my task!"  She had almost forgotten what she had come to do.

She went back to gathering pears.  A little further into the orchard, she was startled to find a boy lazing about eating pears.  He said to her, "Little girl, little girl, what are you doing here?"  His eyes were grey, and blue flickered in them like the light catching the spirals and twists of the smoke. She replied, "I am here collecting pears. Who are you, and why are you here?"  He said, "Oh, nevermind that, come and look further into the orchard with me!" As he said this he gently reached his hand out to take her arm, and drew back suddenly as his hand sizzled as if water had been thrown on a fire.

She snapped to attention. He quickly hid his hand behind his back, but she saw it appeared to be steaming.  "No.  I don't know who you are, but be gone and let me attend to my task."  His face clouded over & he twisted up into a puff of smoke.

Running all the way home, she found her mama and related the story.  "Mama, mama, why did his hand steam when he touched my sleeve?"  "My dear one, my mama taught me, as her mama taught her, as I will teach you,  that to finish all fine woven clothes we would wear with an iron mordant not only protects the dye from fading from the cloth, but also protects us from fairies who would take us away with them."  

Snip, snap, snout, this tale's told out.