Blackberrying and Fairies (Berkshire)

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john o london's with fairies


After reading Mr J.H.Craigen’s letter (May 2nd), may I state that I have had a very similar experience? In 1916 I was staying at Cookham Dean, Berkshire, and one afternoon took a basket in order to gather blackberries on a common some distance away. The blackberries were fairly plentiful but small, when I suddenly noticed some particularly fine ones growing on a bush which stood quite by itself. I was tugging at some rather out of reach, when the whole bush seemed to shiver, the sprays parted, and from out of the centre of the bush darted a lean, brown man, dressed in brown with pointed cap and straggly beard. He was solid as far a the waist, but his legs were transparent and shadowy. He slid away like lightning and entirely disappeared. I regret to say that I was so surprised and startled that I dropped my basket, took to my heels, and ran all the way home. I do not doubt that he was the ‘fairy’ of the bush. I have never had the good luck to see another.

Pulborough, Sussex                                                   NVM

N.V.M. ‘An Encounter with a Fairy’, John O’London Weekly (16 May 1936), 245: for other John O’London fairy letters follow the link.

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