There once was a lad named Connla who lived close to the sea and he came upon a tiny maiden clad in strange attire nestled in a hollowed out branch of driftwood. No bigger than his hand, she wore a bodice of red and white birch, and an underskirt of bramble with dried hydrangea that made it look as though she were part of the underbrush. A spider sat next to her, sunning itself. Startled, he asked "Whence comest thou Maiden?"
"I come from the Plains of the Ever Living," replied she. "Where there is neither death nor sin."
"The ocean is not so strong as the waves of my longing," she continued. "Oh mighty Conn, fighter of a thousand fights. Come with me in my curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. Only wives and maidens live there. If thou wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy."
"Tis hard upon me," then said Connla: "I love my own folk above all thing; but yet a longing seizes me for the maiden."
She turned, exposing the red silk sash that held together her fragile shift and with her, turned the spider, crawling away toward the sea. Connla could resist no more. Away and away, till eye could see no longer, and Connla and Faery Maiden went their way on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did anyone know where they came.
This microstory was adapted from Celtic Fairy Tales, the story of Connla and the Fairy Maiden. (First published in 1892. This edition was published in 1994 by Senate, an imprint of Studio Editions Ltd, England).
These one of a kind miniature fairy dresses are all fashioned by hand in Maine with materials from the woods. Available in select boutiques and on Etsy.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
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