One thing which many reports from people who claimed to have been in fairyland have in common is the different speed at which time passes. Some claim that time as we know it does not exist there. A person may spend what seems like years in fairyland, only to find that a matter of weeks, day or even simply hours have passed here among the mortal. The equivalent of 900 years in fairyland is said to have passed in one night. Non- believers claim that this is for the sake of a good story.
A person need only have “gone” for a short while to be able to tell a whole raft of made up adventures that would have taken years to have witnessed or actually been a part of.
Also, in a short nap you can have dreams stretching a lifetime.
“Lovers to bed; ‘tis almost fairy time”
In a story, a blacksmith managed to prove his so- called son was a changeling and chased him off, but had to find a way to get his own son back. He discovered that the boy was being held by the little people inside a small hill ( variously called the Green Knoll or the Green Knowe). Here they forged metal weapons in a mighty furnace. As the son of a blacksmith, they thought the boy could help them in this task.
At night, when a magic door opened in the knoll which would close again at the first light of dawn the blacksmith sneaked inside. Using his book to protect himself from fairy magic, he also slipped a cockerel out from under his coat. Seeing the light of the forge’s furnace, the cock crowed, thinking it was daybreak. The little people panicked, believing dawn had come and that the magic door would close, leaving some of their mischief- making number trapped outside. The blacksmith grabbed his son with one hand and, still holding the book in his other, they made good their escape.
(Deep in the hillside)
“Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s finger.”
( Hans Christian Andersen from Preface to Works)
The Truth About Fairies by Philip Ardagh