Adults unlike children did not see the fairies with whom they shared the valley. Despite that the fairies did have a little something to do with their lives. Very often an adult shakes their head wondering why a lost object has just reappeared even though they’d looked for it right there many times before. Or a knot in the knitting yarn seemingly impossible to unknot becomes undone almost on it’s own. All the little things that cannot be explained away, that is the work of the unseen little people. They might be mischievous too and play little trick, turn the tap on a little as you walk away. Nothing really nasty, just mischief. There are rules the unseen world lives by, for instance horrible things are ever done to good people. Mischief is what monsters and gremlins are for. They don’t exist in the adult world, in part because adults do not want to believe in them, and besides that because they are helped to forget. That’s what fairy dust is for, to make the adults forget. Why is that? Why do adults need to forget and children don’t?
Adults don’t believe in fairies because they would ridicule each other for believing in them. Some of the unseen feared they might even be hunted down for research and put them in little cages in laboratories like they do with mice. Just a lot less complicated and much more safe for the faerie if adults do not believe in them. Children on the other hand, should believe in them, often a lonely child has only the little persons in the unseen world for friendship. The fairies just love children, fairies are very much like children themselves, always playing and taking delight in games and observing the natural world.
In the valley the only adult able to see the little unseen people was Big Slow Fred, to him they were very real, and the children soon learned they could talk to him about their small unseen friends and be believed. Sometimes Big slow Fred would even invite some of the kids to watch the goose races at his house with fairies mounted on the big fluffy geese and pixies urging them on. The fairies trusted Big Slow Fred and if he brought the children around they knew those were good children and could be trusted not to try and harm them. Occasionally a particularly nasty child had tried to harm the fairies by throwing rocks at them. the fairies with their magical quickness always got out of the way, but the geese might get hurt. Big Slow Fred would remind them that the gremlins would get them when they found out what a nasty little child he or she had been. Mostly the children in the valley were very good children, but it happened sometimes that a child did something nasty. Even here in the valley.
There are times that fairies and adults come face to face and all the adult is left no memory of it after a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust, and a feeling that all is well. The broad smile appears on their face and that can last a very, very long time.
Big Slow Fred still saw the unseen world, unlike children who, when they reached age twelve or so would stop seeing the fairies, pixies and dragons and the many other members of the unseen. big slow Fred would bring a slice of cake or pie to the evening goose races, to share with his friends the pixies and fairies (of course the geese were not forgotten either). His mom would give him a little extra knowing he would want to share. That is not to say that his mother believed in fairies or the unseen, but she saw no harm in letting Big slow Fred go on believing. Big Slow Fred was never lonely this way. since Big Slow Fred was expected to remain childlike his entire life, she saw no harm in his holing those beliefs.
Other parents would discourage at a certain age, their children to believe in the unseen. The unseen world except for those church figures such as God or angels. As the brains of children became mature, and those beliefs were discouraged the unseen became just that, unseen. They became the lovely thoughts of youth, of childhood, stories rather than real life. Real life is made up of what is just right at this moment in a very tangible way. Real life is always at any moment subject to change.
There were a few other members of the community in this peaceful valley still seeing the unseen. The valley was a wonderful place to live for the seen and the unseen. Those members other than Fred who were still seeing the unseen would not tell, for fear of ridicule, or worse. so, who were these people?
Well, normally if an adult happens to see a fairy, or, let’s say a dragon, then a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust will make sure they quickly forget all about it. It doesn’t happen often that for instance and adult would se a fairy or others of the unseen, mostly when there is a great sadness, a bump on the head or a little too much home-made wine.
Back to the fairy dust. Plain and simple it stops working on elderly or the very ill. They won’t tell you, because it hurts their dignity to suffer the giggle and snide comments. Some like our old Mr. Anshelm worry that their very unimaginative children (his son is the postman) will perceive him as quite crazy and send him to live in a home. Since no old folks home or long term care hospital exists in the valley, it means leaving this very wonderful place, this beloved valley to live in a big city. A big city with far too much concrete, and strangers with terribly busy lives. Most probably also there are few fairies here. After all how happy could a fairy be to live in all this concrete and glass.
So old Mr. Anshelm keeps it to himself that there was a time when he dropped his glasses, two very pretty faeries flew them right up to him and even place them carefully on his nose.. He was a bit frightened at fist, but then took a deep breath and looked again, and indeed there were two very pretty fairies giggling away bobbing and weaving in the air like hummingbirds.
Nowadays Mr. Anshelm’s very pleasant but dull son and the pleasant but dull daughter in law might leave for a day or two. Well, he manages quite well with a little help from the unseen friends. How wonderful for him this has been. His unseen friends will sit down with him and just talk or help him with those tasks that give the elderly man difficulty. Things such as picking up glasses when he drops them. After all without those glasses he could not see a thing.
Some evenings he drops by Big Slow Fred’s and together they will chat and watch the fairies, pixies and geese by the side of the old shed having their races, while sharing conversation and bits of cake and pie. Probably, Mr. Anshelm theory was that adults did not see fairies and the like, because they really had time only for raising new families and looking after their community. Their lives were already so full and busy. There really is no time in the adult’s life to deal with the unseen world. After all if you were consumed by day-to-day living the extra distraction by also being a part of the unseen world, well, frankly, he doubted anyone would be able to get anything done, most especially the much needed work like raising children or doing their jobs. Bakers wouldn’t have time to bake and teachers wouldn’t have time to teach., and, well, you get the picture, surely?
What a shame that children see the unseen and are thought to have wonderful imaginations, while should the old and the sick see the unseen and interact with them, they’d be accused of being crazy and are sent away. Surely, thought Mr. Anshelm, there is much good in the old and sick not feeling so lonely and unhappy when all the other adults are too busy with their own lives to spend much time with them?