I’ve always been fascinated by the story of the Cottingley Fairies. At the age of seven, the thought of two girls managing to capture images of the most illusive of creatures was sustaining.  If there could be proof of magic, there could be proof that life was extraordinary and I would continue to believe.

Some years later, my parents bought me a copy of ‘The Coming of the Fairies’ by Arthur Conan Doyle. Here was a chance to see all the photographs collected in one place and to read his views on the matter.  It seems that he was totally taken in by the ‘evidence’ and thoroughly absorbed by it all.

Looking closely at the photographs for myself, I could see that that the fairies had probably been drawn, cut out and placed against various backgrounds. However, the old fashioned, black and white appearance of the pictures lends an otherworldly quality to them that is almost credible.

What I remember most about my own exploration of the ‘truth’ in this true life story is the fact that my parents never told me it was a hoax.

Leaping Fairy
(Inspired by photo: Frances and the Leaping Fairy)

Paper cuts her a figure:
damson wings,
honey-burst hair,

lines of her body
made in the image
of flower stems.

In flight
her shape
is a calligraphed letter —

the start
of a name,
an existence.

K. S. Moore

‘Leaping Fairy’ is a poem from my magic and myth themed pamphlet in progress, ‘When seaweed is Medusa’s hair’.

Photo by Blue Square Thing on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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K. S. Moore is a Welsh Poet and Writer, based in Ireland. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Stinging Fly, Southword and Crannog.Online magazines: Nutshells and Nuggets, And Other Poems, and Ink Sweat and Tears have also featured poems. Meanwhile, flash fiction and short stories have been published in FlashFlood, Metazen, Number Eleven and The Bohemyth.K. S. Moore has been shortlisted for Flash Mob 2013, Blog Awards Ireland and 99 Fiction. She has performed at Waterford Writers' Weekend, Waterford Winterval and Swansea's Dylan Thomas Festival.

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