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by Micha F. Lindemans
The original fairies, or faeries, bestowed gifts upon newborn children, such as beauty, wealth and kindness. In the subsequent centuries they continued this original function, but expanded their activities into other types of meddling in human affairs.

Fairies can only be seen clearly by animals and seldom by humans, although if one is fortunate enough, one might catch a fleeting glimpse. There are a few exceptions however. The first is when fairies use their power (known as 'glamour') to enable a human to see them. Also, during a full moon on Midsummer Eve a mortal witness fairy dances or celebrations. And finally, by looking through a self-bored stone (a stone in which a hole has been made by tumbling in the waters of a brook; not found on a beach) one can see fairies distinctly.

The rulers of the race of fairies are Queen Titania and her consort Prince Oberon, their court being in the vicinity of Stratford-on-Avon. Other synonyms and euphemisms for fairies are: the Little People, the Green Men, the Good Folk and the Lordly Ones.

The name is probably a combination of the words fae "friend" and eire "green." So Faerie means "Green Friend."

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