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Dangerous, Quirky, Playful and Unpredictable

Beautiful and seductive, she moves through the trees, lithely jumping branch to branch like a squirrel. Intrigued, the boy approaches her eliciting a welcoming smile. She whispers gently in his ear before tickling him. At first he laughs, enjoying the attention, but she doesn’t stop. She keeps tickling and tickling; harder and harder he laughs. He wants to stop laughing, but he can’t. It’s hard to breathe, his lungs hurt. He starts to cough from laughing for so long and so hard, and eventually she tickles him to death. What are we to take from the strange behavior of the rusalka, a fairy of the water and forest which performs the bizarre act of seducing men so that it may tickle them to death? No matter how seemingly dangerous the fairy, they always seem to have some element of playfulness though their play can often turn deadly. Fairies are always a contradiction. Fairies are the moment when the coin is in the air, the time it hovers twirling, caught between two choices, between two opposites. The rusalka, for example, is a young girl, one who can never grow, never mature, never find true love. She is caught forever between lust and childishness, between youthful play and death. She is ancient yet has never grown up. It is a maddening moment in time that fairies live, between dark and light.