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Extreme Emotions

Fairies feel emotions much more intensely than humans do. When a human gives them the tiniest amount of help, they reward that human with lifelong happiness, gold, or some other incredibly precious gift. However, should a human do even the slightest amount of harm to a fairy, death is often the punishment. We see this repeatedly in fairy tales. In the story of “The Three Mannlien in the Wood,” (Grimm and Grimm, 1812) a young girl shares her stale crust of bread with three Mannlien and, in return, they make her more beautiful every day. They caused gold to fall from her mouth every time she spoke and were setting it up so that she’ll marry a prince. The girl’s stepsister refuses to share her food so they cause her to grow more ugly, frogs to jump out of her mouth, and ultimately cause her to die horribly. Fairies are the strict enforcers of morality for fairies will ask humans to share with them crusts of bread, the warmth of a fire, etc. Yet these same fairies can create gold, give unlimited amounts of food, and grant wishes. The only real explanations for this is that fairies are testing the morality of humans.

In “The Edda,” a Norn (a wise woman/fairy which weaves the fate of humans) trips and hurts herself as she is getting up to give a child its fate, and in her rage she curses the child to die in much the same way that in the “Sleeping Beauty” tale, a fairy which was overlooked by a child’s parents curses the child with death. When Rumpelstiltskin found that he’d lost the child sought, he got so angry that he tore himself in two. The guardian of the bath house in the Russian folk tales will risk its life to protect people and then later will flay the skins from their bodies if it feels it’s been disrespected. Fairies have wild mood swings between happiness, sorrow, love, and rage.