(June 11th to 17th)

Format: Triple

…the woodways were packed with his knights in armour riding down into the water-mists … behind them you could see great castles lifting slow and splendid on arches of moonshine, with maidens waving their hands at the windows, which all turned into roaring rivers; and then would come the darkness of his own young heart wiping out the whole slateful…’


This is from “Cold Iron” in Rewards and Fairies.

As he grows up, an orphan boy, adopted by the King and Queen of the fairies, is testing out his magical powers by weaving glorious spells. He does not know that his destiny as a humble slave boy among ordinary men and women is already sealed.

‘…It lay on the marsh like thunder. Men saw their windows ablaze with the wildfire in the windows after dark; they saw their cattle scatterin’ an’ no man scarin’; their sheep flockin’ an’ no man drivin’; their horses latherin’ an’ no man leadin’; they saw the liddle low green lights more than ever in the dik sides; they heard the liddle feet patterin’ more than ever round the houses; an’ night an’ day, day an’ night, ’twas all as though they were bein’ creeped up on…’


This is from “Dymchurch Flit” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.

Terrified by the bloody conflicts of Old England, in Tudor times, the ‘People of the Hills’ – the fairies – are gathering on Romney Marsh, desperate to find someone who will carry them over to France.

‘…I went away to that place where I had seen the magician with the knife. I lay out two days on the long grass before I ventured among the trees. I felt my way before me with a stick. I was afraid of the terrible talking trees. I was afraid of the ghosts in the branches; of the soft ground under foot; of the red and black waters. I was afraid, above all, of the change. It came!’…


This is from “The Knife and the Naked Chalk” in Rewards and Fairies. A flint man of the high country of the Downs is venturing down into the mysterious terrifying forests of the Weald. His aim is to buy iron knives from the smiths of the forests, to save his people from the scourge of the Beast, the wolves that kill their sheep and harry the shepherds, contemptuous of the flint knives which too often shatter without warning.