On the way home from work yesterday, we saw a Garden Fairy. It was the first time we had spotted a member of this species, though the sighting was only brief.
I have mentioned in previous posts how we engage in what might be called “free-form recycling”. We place unwanted but still serviceable items next to the dustbins and they usually disappear within a few days. We have never seen the actual process by which they are translated to a higher sphere and supposed that this subtle work was carried out at night. Tigger calls the beings who actually perform the disappearing act “Garden Fairies”. And now we have seen one.
The visitation took place in broad daylight too or, rather, what passes for broad daylight on a cloudy day with hints of rain in London and around 4:30 pm. We had disembarked from the bus and we were walking home along the row of houses where we live and whose dustbins and other rubbish are normally parked at the ends of the front gardens close the the road. We saw a figure enter a garden and emerge shortly thereafter carrying a picture. A few houses along, he entered another garden and came out again a little time afterwards but without having acquired any extra burdens. “Garden Fairy,” said Tigger.
And so it was. He appeared in the form of a young man, slender and about average height, with shoulder length hair, wearing dark clothes including a sort of long coat. Hanging from his shoulders was a limp black or grey rucksack. In his left hand, he now carried the picture, which he lifted to gaze at from time to time.
I have no way of knowing whether this is what Garden Fairies actually look like or only some sort of humanoid disguise adopted to avoid scaring the natives. For aught I know, Garden Fairies might be invisible in their normal state and that this one became visible only to avoid the stir caused by the sight of a picture floating unaided down the road.
I did think to call out to the Garden Fairy in order to conduct a good-natured interview but it occurred to me that some things are best left delicately swathed in poetic vagueness. T.S. Eliot famously wrote that “human kind cannot bear too much reality”. Amen to that.