Michael: Most of the time, we discuss large hairy cryptids or shadowy ghosts around here, but there are other denizens of the rabbit hole. I thought for St. Patrick’s Day, I would share a story that resembles fairy lore more than ghosts or bigfoot. Of course, there is a continuum between these different types of phenomena, but nature spirits/ elementals/ fairy folk (call them what you will) do turn up on occasion. Here is a quick story of my apparent contact with some of them.
Being a very lunar person, I have always maintained great appreciation and close monitoring of the moon cycles. The back deck of my house faces east and gives an amazing view of the rising moon that I use to its full advantage. On nights of the full moon, I traditionally express my appreciation by leaving a shot of whiskey out on the corner of the deck for the “good people,” as they are called by the Irish (na daoine maithe). I have a metal shot glass that I use for this so that it doesn’t break, and I will leave it right on the corner of the deck closest to where the yard begins, in that marginal space that is loved by the fairy folk.
One full moon night, when the moon was particularly lovely, I did this offering as usual. The next morning, I removed the shot cup, tossed the whiskey to the yard, and brought the cup inside, not thinking any more about it.
That night the moon was nearly as dramatic, being only slightly off the full. When I rose in the morning, and looked out my bedroom window, which directly overlooks this edge of the deck, I noticed something sitting on the corner. I knew I had taken the shot cup in the day before, so I went downstairs and out on the deck to investigate. There, sitting right where I had the whiskey glass the night before, there was a tiny clay flowerpot, almost exactly the same size as the whiskey glass I had left out. It was not new, but was covered with dirt, and I had never seen it before.
My house is in the country. The driveway is on the other side of the house from this deck and I own 8 acres stretching out from the deck, with no other houses visible. While here at the RHE, we are careful to note that nothing can be ruled out completely, I find it hard to believe that anyone was wandering around the back yard in the night. And even if they were, they would have had to bring this tiny pot with them and place it exactly where my shot glass had been the night before. This would be a pretty elaborate prank.
I believe this was a trade. A thanks for the whiskey given to me by the spirits of the land. I still keep the little pot as a reminder to me to give attention to the non-human persons with whom we share this world.