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Lovers of the Arts and Beauty

It’s the fairies that make the flowers blossom, the sun shine, the mountains rise and fall. In essence, it is fairies that make the world beautiful, but this is beauty as they define it. While people believed that it was fairies who allowed life to exist, people didn’t believe that fairies were creaters simply for the sake of creation. Fairies are artists, and they love what they consider beautiful which is shown by their obsession with song, poetry, and dance.

“Dancing and song are their delight, and by their songs they draw mortals into the water with them... The fossegrim entices men by his music and instructs them in the fiddle and other stringed instruments.” (Jacob Grimm)

This is not to say that they are whimsical artists. Indeed, looking at the nature of artists throughout history, we see that they are rarely whimsical. Fairies are strict with their art as shown by the example of the fossegrim (a male waterfall fairy). In order to learn to play music from the fossegrim, a person would sacrifice a he-goat to him by throwing it into the waterfall. If the fairy accepted the gift, the fossegrim would grab the person’s hands and guide them so violently and for so long that blood would spurt out of the human’s fingertips. With their hands bursting apart and spurting blood, the humans in the tales would beg the fossegrim to stop to allow them to take a break, but the fossegrim would ignore their student’s cries of pain as they continued to force the human to play this way for as long as it took for them to perfect in his art and play so that the trees will dance. (Jacob Grimm) It should be clear from the amount of brutality in the way the fossegrim teaches music that fairies are demanding artists, that they do not accept weakness or pain when it comes to their art. They are beauty and art lovers to an extreme degree.

However, beauty in and of itself is a complex issue. It is more than simply in the eye of the beholder. The same artist who admired sculptures of neoclassicism can become Picaso who himself created more then just frilly art. He created works of both love and sorrow. Picaso painted scenes of war and pain, of sadness and depression alongside his works of happiness and joy. The same writers who carefully craft jokes and allow the boy to get the girl in their stories, will also kill major characters in horrible ways in another tale just as Shakespeare did.

It should be telling, for example, that the god of poetry in Germanic and Norse mythology (Wotan) is also the god who determines who will be victorious and who will lose a battle....

Fairies, like human artists, are quirky and odd. Artists are prone to violent bouts of rage. When Michelangelo didn’t like his work on the Sistine Chapel, he tore down a painting he’d been creating for years. Mozart was often reported to be half mad and would grow angry at his band for not hearing music that wasn’t actually playing. Van Gogh cut off his own ear in a fit of rage. Genius and an extreme, intense interest in one subject create bizarre quirks among humans so we should anticipate that the people who gave human traits to fairies would believe that this situation would be the same among fairies.

Thus, while human art has and is defined by endings; songs with finales, paintings with exhibition, and plays with curtains closings, many fairies do not like such destinations, and as immortal beings they never have to actually seek an ending. Their art can be a journey which never ends but continues on forever.