Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Revenge of the Iron Fairies

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where foot-long icicles co-exist with poison ivy blisters! Oh well. C'est la vie. Drip, drip, drip. What you gonna do?

I am reflecting upon how I contracted a case of poison ivy on the coldest weekend of the season, and I've concluded that it's the fault of faeries. Iron fairies, to be exact.

A year ago Christmas, my daughter The Heir gave me an item from a store in New York City called Iron Fairies. Everything in the store is made from iron, and most of the merchandise is fairy statues.

At first I thought "iron fairies" couldn't exist. The whole nature of the fae is that they're light and airy, ethereal, wingy thingies that hardly touch ground. But then I reflected that faeries are elemental, and iron is an element. So of course some faeries could be iron.

Flawless logic like this is what got me where I am today.

One evening when I felt the Heir to be in danger, I took the gift bag from the store, The Iron Fairies, shoved treats in it, and put it in my garden. Then I dedicated my garden to the iron faeries.

As I was pruning my shrubs and pulling out ivy (mmmm hmmmmm) last Saturday, I was musing idly on how the iron faeries would react to having their woodland cleaned up a bit.

Guess they didn't like it.

My back is up, though. I've been leaving offerings for those doggoned iron faeries since last summer: candy, wine, chocolate, trinkets, you name it. And this is my reward. An armload of blisters just four days shy of the East Coast Vulture Festival!

Maybe the iron faeries are jealous of the Sacred Thunderbird. But why? I haven't yet given a buzzard a glass of wine or a trinket.

You would think something as immortal as a faerie would realize that, no matter how one prunes a garden, it's just going to get overgrown again.

Gosh, I pity the fool who ever makes a concerted effort to tame this little piece of ground behind my house! It's a mistake I won't make again. Trust me.


Dancing With Fey said...

Reminds me of something a little girl I know got for one of her birthdays. It was a little thing to be hung on the wall, saying "Don't piss off the fairies!"

I guess there's a lot of wisdom in not ticking off fairies. Maybe if you make a point of showing them how sorry you are you'll heal faster.

yellowdoggranny said...

I don't think faries have a sense of humor..or if they do..it's mean spirited..

Anonymous said...


I have to say that when I saw the header, "Iron Fairies", the first thought that came to mind was a gay biker gang.


Unknown said...

the other side of the Fae- yes, i know it well......

Dancing With Fey said...

To add on to what Anonymous said, my first thought on seeing "Iron Fairies" was "Revenge of the Rod Iron Flamingos." It's a book, which I haven't read. But it's title certainly is memorable. :P

Thalia said...

I thought faeries didn't like iron? Isn't one way to keep them away to keep a nail in your pocket, or scissors under the bed, or that kind of thing?

I think it's because iron represents 'civilization.' So 'Iron Faeries' is really confusing me.

Anonymous said...

ive been reading up on faeries and so far ive learned that faeries are jealous of humans bc they dont get to feel emotion like we do. so they watch us and sometimes help us bc thats the closest they can get to being human. some faeries hurt us bc they are so jealous of our humanity. mabey if you acknowledge them they wont be such pranksters.
Radient Warrior

Anonymous said...

I know this is of no use to you right now, but next year, when the jewelweed is in full and happy growth, harvest some leaves and whirl them in a blender with a little water, pour the slurry into an ice cube try, and freeze. Once they are all frozen you can pop them out and put them in a freezer bag and leave it at the back of your freezer, ready for the day when out-of-season poison attacks.

I also find that it helps to dedicate an area of the yard to the faeries and make it all theirs - no weeding or mowing or maintenance at all is permitted. Just let 'em have it - poison ivy, brambles and all. They like that.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same as Thalia. That iron is a sure fire way to keep them away. I seem to recall hearing once, maybe even twice, that if you wanted them to stay underground, surround their gateway with iron nails.

I'm thinking they're telling you to stop with the iron already myself.

But what do I know...

Livia Indica said...

The oil of poison ivy can retain its nastiness for over a year. That's why it's always a good idea to wash camping and garden supplies (backpacks, sleeping bags, shovels, etc.) before storing them, because otherwise the next time you pull those things out you'll touch the oil and voila! Rash.

Dunno exactly how you got it this time, I'd think that precipitation would've gotten rid of the oils outside. Maybe you had some garden tools that had the oil on it from last summer?

At any rate, hang in there. I hope your rash doesn't spoil your vulture party.

Morning Angel said...

Kveldulf Gundarsson explains why various wights might dislike iron in his book, Elves, Wights, and Trolls. He focuses on Northern sources of lore, but there is some overlap with Celtic, etc., so you might find the book useful in your interactions with faeries.

Maebius said...

hmm, my original comment never made it. /shrug
I saw the stand for the Iron Fairies at FaerieCon this past year and had a chuckle at the whole apparent paradox of Fae+Iron, but didn't wind up buying one for my computer desk at work. They are cute though.

Eek at the poison ivy, and I'll second the Jewelweed. They grow nearby each other, and no better quick and easy cure for the itchy as that sap. I've also had success with weak oatmeal baths/poultices for the worst of outbreaks.