I know, I know... It sounds silly. It sounds like extremely wishful thinking. It sounds like I'm crazy and delusional.
But hear me out. Here's the story.
It was 2001, I was living in Ireland with my now wife in pretty much the exact same spot as we are now in. The little copse that I am always talking about was a very different place back then though. I hadn't cleared any paths by then, so it was a bit more wild and unruly.
Steph had three little terriers back then and I used to go walking in the woods with them quite often. On one particular occasion, we went for a walk in what must have been autumn or winter, because I had my Powderfinger beanie on.
The dogs usually liked to run off and do their own thing while I did a bit of exploring. As I was walking along, right in the middle of the copse, I felt my beanie get yanked from my head. Now, my initial thought was that it had snagged on a branch as I was going past. This had happened to me before on several occasions, so I looked behind me to see if the beanie was still attached to the branch. But there was no branch. There was no branch anywhere near where I was. There were branches above me, but none were close enough and none of them were moving.
So I had a look around for my beanie. It was nowhere to be seen. I looked all around me within a decent radius and there was absolutely no sign of the beanie. It was like it had simply disappeared. The dogs were nowhere near me either, so it wasn't one of them that had taken off with it.
I stood there for a minute, rather confused. I kept looking around for the beanie, but there was still no sign of it. So I kinda just stood there. As I AM a person that is interested in Faeries, the thought DID cross my mind that a Faerie was the culprit. I had read enough Faerie Lore by then to know a thing or two about Faerie encounters. I knew it was dangerous. I knew I probably wouldn't actually see an actual Faerie. I knew I was probably dealing with a prankster Faerie of some kind.
I didn't quite know what to do at that point. I was tempted to make a run for it, but something tied me to that spot. The woods were quiet, there were some bird calls in the distance and I could just hear the dogs far away. I closed me eyes and tried to listen really intently, but there was no out of place sound at all. After a little while, I opened my eyes and had a look around, but all was as it had been.
Then, I looked down and was shocked to see my beanie on the ground, right in front of me. It had not been there before. It hadn't been anywhere I could see.
I remember smiling to myself at the sight of it. I think I understood straight away what had happened. I picked up my beanie, had one last look around, and walked on home.
Now, what on earth had happened in those woods that day? Could it have been a bird? No chance, none of the species of birds that frequented those woods would come anywhere near that close to a human. Was it a branch I couldn't see? Maybe, but I looked pretty good and it was clearly evident that it was not a branch. What else could it be? I have absolutely no idea. I honestly don't know what else it could be.
At this point, it's important to note that ones own beliefs dictate what one sees in situations like this. I am interested in Faeries, so I believe it was a Faerie I encountered. If I were a christian in that situation, I would probably think it was an angel. If I were interested in the unexplained, I might think it was an alien or some cryptozoological creature. If I were a skeptic (which I am to a certain extent), I would perhaps try and reason it away without the addition of a mythical creature. I've tried that way, but the fact is that, via the process of elimination, there is no reasonable or logical explanation left. There was no wind, no branches, no animals. The beanie was simply pulled off my head in an instant by a force I can't explain away with logic or science.
I choose to believe it was a Faerie. I don't know if it actually was a Faerie. But I am happy to believe it was. I should say that I am skeptical about the existence of many things. I don't believe in any religious deity, nor mythological creatures (though I am interested in them), and I consider myself an intelligent and logical person. But this experience has been with me for 12 years now and I have never come up with an explanation that can definitively exclude a Faerie encounter.
So that's where it lies, my Faerie encounter. I've only ever told a handful of people this story, and I was a little wary of writing about it here. But, I figured, if I'm going to hopefully be known some day as a Faerie artist and writer, this is an important credential to have.
I'll talk more about this occasion at a later date. There is much more to talk about regarding it. Hopefully I don't lose too many readers by 'coming out' as a real Faerie believer!
100 Heads in 100 Days #66
Me Fact #66
I eat waaaay too much chocolate. My current favourite is chocolate and almonds.