Saturday, June 13, 2020

Tolkien ENTS in the 21st Century?

Leprecat has rolled over into the 21st century and it contains another load of encounters. I'm looking at the first decade of the 21st century in this, and the next couple of posts. What was oddly present in those incidents at first glance were THREE claims of large tree like entities. That was almost too much, even given the weirdness of this field of study. Now, there are a lot of "normal" gnomes/ elves/ dwarves etc,  and another large pile of varying oddballs and a dollop of wings, but the "Trees" are just too far out to delay commentary --- so, today the trees, and the wings to fill this out. Later the more normal fairy folk and the unique characters.  


 THREE FAIRY CENSUS cases: #s 57, 54, and 39. I'm not promising you a lost Tolkien story here, just a few glimpses, then you have to write the rest of the novel. 

A. HAMPSHIRE, UK. 2007. The reporter is a male in his 50s. There was one other witness and they were walking a dog. The witnesses were walking in the woods in mid-afternoon, and had just entered a clearing. There came a profound silence over the atmosphere and the dog glanced up. There, rushing across the field in their general direction was a tree. It was about ten foot tall. As it passed in its closest point, both witnesses could see that it had the smiling face of an entity formed in the bark. It then raced away. Both witnesses agreed as to what they had seen, and felt that some "nature spirit" of some sort must have just crossed their path. 


B. HAMPSHIRE, UK. 2000s. The witness here is a woman in her 40s. The setting was from a field surrounded by woods. Though others were in the vicinity they were busy elsewhere and did not see this. She was relaxing on the bed of a flatbed trailer and looking towards the woods. About 90-100 feet away, a creature jumped out of one of the trees. It was twelve feet tall and apparently made of "sticks" or some such appearing material. "It was like a skeleton made of sticks." The thing landed and stared at the witness for several seconds, then jumped straight back up into the tree and strode through the branches and away. The witness called over a friend and they went to the spot of the landing, finding nothing there but a smell of nature decay. The witness was flummoxed as to how to categorize what she'd experienced, saying that it didn't seem like ghost nor alien, and didn't have wings. Despite the latter, she felt that it was most like Faery. 


C. DEVON, UK. 2000s. The witness is a female in her 40s. The environment is a house on a road in a seaside town at 10:30pm. The road was well lit but empty and nothing was stirring. The witness was looking out her window towards this road while talking on the phone to her husband. Along this road came, walking very slowly ("in a measured way"), a "tree-man." His walk was slow enough so that he took about two minutes to pass from the original point of visibility to being blocked by a neighbor's hedge. Her words of description are best here:

"Seven foot tall, slim. I could clearly see a trunk like body from the waist up, branch like arms and a quite haggard face with short branches coming from the top of the head and sides, but not like a true tree, they didn't seem to taper to twigs.
" Haggard/wizened face, seemed old. Bark-like heavy grooved texture of body and face, long branch like arms bent at the elbow area, unnaturally straight and thin arms, long hands. A few leaves scattered on the body and arms. 'Stumpy' branches from head." 

If that isn't the telling of a smallish version of a Tolkien Ent I don't know what is. I read this last one and said "This is too good to be true." But what is my criterion for that knee-jerk? This tale is wonderfully and precisely told, without hubris or romance. It lacks just the face-to-face investigation and credibility check to be a foundation stone. But it doesn't have that, so .... SAY anyone in Devon!!! would you please go interview this lady?! Do the search for truth a favor. Find out if she is as true as she seems. 


Having gone through those three encounters, it was impossible not to be reminded that the UK's most famous recent fairy case (The Moyra Doorly incidents in Arran Isle in 2000) have embedded in them a case of "sticks" fairies. 

These are my cartoons for Ms. Doorly's menagerie.  Note that the critter on the right is like a tree-man made of branches or naked sticks. The description of these beings was not quite exact enough for me to imagine what their structure amounted to, so it's a big guess. The two juxtaposed possibilities below indicate two competing possibilities out of many.

Whatever these things were they were reportedly UNpleasant. By the way, for reasons unknown to me, there is some extra interest "out there" in internet land about "The Arran Enigma" as my blog gets more hits on an old posting of that title than these recent ones (about 100+ last week.) If you're interested in that old post (I think that I still stand by what I wrote), it's searchable on this blog, or just plow backwards in time to November 8, 2011. 

.... and, as an add-on to that: on the mail-in site "Fairy Encounters" came one of those no-name, no-location, vague-time period (2000s) stories of a witness seeing a "stick-man" in a grove of walnut trees (believed by the witness to be "associated" with that grove). The Stick Man was a humanoid formed entity made entirely out of sticks, and perhaps six feet tall. 


OK. Fun. Maybe even True. Now just to fill out this post: were there any winged entities in this time period for Leprecat?  Well .... Three.


A. Staffordshire, UK. 2000s. Fairy Census Case #121. 

Single witness in her teens. She felt that this was a display given just for her. She was on a bridge waiting for a friend. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye. (She says that she then looked up squarely at them, so OK on this point.) They were small (size not stated but the impression is: very small, tinkerbell small.) There were a small number of them (again not stated.) They all had wings. The wings were like butterfly wings. They sat on branches and hovered in the air. They were "small beautiful people" and smiled at her. "They looked mostly like how I would imagine them." She looked away after a few minutes and they were gone. 

You can imagine that I have some troubles with this. But there is one "sticker" for me in the narrative (which probably makes no sense for anyone else.) Just as an afterthought, she says about their color that they matched the desert patina that her dad found on a skeleton when he was a younger man. ... odd thing to say. Odd if she was just spewing out a hypnogogic Tinkerbell encounter. I can't make anything of that, but it just haunts a bit.


B. Rhondda, Wales. 2000s. Fairy Census Case #190. 

The witness is a female in her 40s. The scene was her garden about mid-day. The narrative is somewhat disjointed but it seems that she felt that there was an unusual feeling in the air and she didn't hear any sounds (OZ again?) She saw the outline of something "at the bottom of the garden." This outline was golden and transparent. It shimmered and had long wings. Then there was a second being, smaller with a flash of blue green color. The witness admits that this could have been a dragonfly, but doesn't think so. 

Following this, she felt an invisible person pressing against her on the seat. She felt that she was receiving a sign, a deliberate display. Despite the vague "outline" type of description, she then compared the fairies to paintings of a particular artist who painted definite detailed winged beings (actually the picture for the Staffordshire case is a fairy painting by this man, and I probably should have reversed those two images.) The witness then claimed to continue to see fairies many times thereafter. 

She then completed her narrative with the eye-opening comment that her family has had a house brounie ever since 2000, but does not give any further commentary. So ... incredibly blessed or just incredible? 


C. "No Location" nor even vague date. posting. 

The witness is an adult male who says he owns a large country house connected with a farm. The witness habitually took long walks. He is a birdwatcher and collects bird nests as a hobby. He spotted a couple of abandoned nests and hauled a ladder back out later. In one of the nests were a large number of very small winged people dancing in a circle. They were only an inch tall with clothes made out of leaves. 

He says that he watched this activity for an hour then went back to his house to fetch his wife. He says that his wife also saw this. These mini-fairies stayed dancing in that nest for the entire winter and could always be seen. (I trust that the readers are getting quite antsy about this by now --- one example being the absence of even trying to get evidence.) At the beginning of Spring, they were gone. 

... I apologize to all of you for my attitude on this, but the multimonths worth of almost casual going to see long term resident visible fairies with no attempts to photograph them or bring other people to see them, puts me into a deep funk about this claim. 


So, under the "shade" of a magnificent ancient gnarled oak (photo by a fine photographer named Brian Robert Marshall, who did the striking thing above, with some color adjustment by me), what can we say that we heard today? 

I heard some extremely interesting narratives about entities resembling smallish Tolkien Ents, but not so impressed by the winged fairy cases. All five of the tree-man cases seem "attractive." None of the three winged cases strike me that way. (for different reasons.) 

When I began researching Leprecat, if anyone would have told me that at some point in the walk in the woods I'd start seriously considering Tree-men as denizens of Faery, I might have even laughed out loud. 

Next time? Probably not so strange. But Faery always intrigues me regardless.

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