The Blacksmith’s Wife
The blacksmith’s wife was once a raven-haired beauty. They say the Faerie King himself lured her from her marriage bed, where her husband snored contentedly, and flew with her up the chimney to the Palace of Stolen Dreams. And there, on a mattress stuffed with lilacs, beneath a chandelier tinkling with babies’ teeth, he treated her to a long night of brittle passion.
So now, her beauty faded, she dozes fitfully in the crook of her husband’s arm, one hand on the cradle of her blue-eyed daughter, and she listens for the soft tread of the debt collector.
Very much missing my Sunday night fix of the BBC’s adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Highly entertaining, but also served to remind us – and we do need reminding – that fairies never ever, despite their misleading name, play fair. Put a saucer of milk on the back step at night, then stay well away.