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Abáloc-- and this and my other worlds...

"Mythical beings out of the past..."

After the storm, lost at sea...

"Mythical beings..." Not very long after my rediscovery of E. Nesbit, I began reading up on fairy-survival tales. In Britain medieval fairy beliefs had survived through Elizabethan times, and in some rural areas on to the edge of the twentieth century. In one old book I came across and made a note of a report by a long-ago antiquarian of an old Welsh farmer’s account. He had seen one night a long torchlit cavalcade of the Fair Folk leaving the land of men forever, riding across the hillsides and down to the River Conwy. It was there that they took to boats and traveled north to Conwy and out across the sea and the ocean, bound "North of Beyond" for the Summer Isles. I imagined them the old medieval sort of fairy or elf, tall and “perilous fair.” Idly, as I read—as if out of nowhere—out popped that most magical of questions, “What if…?”

What if… what if on the wide ocean a storm arose, and one—or two—of those great round, hide-covered sea-going coracles were swept away? What if it were swept into a great bank of fog and away to the west? What if…

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