21 February 2013

Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide

The world of folktales is full of people with strange and magical talents granted to them by fairies or witches, benevolent or otherwise. Consider the girl who dropped roses and diamonds from her lips when she spoke, or her jealous sister who wound up spitting toads and vipers.

We don't expect to meet such people in the world now; we don't believe in magic or fairies. Indeed, we are so brazen in our unbelief that we call them fairies, as our ancestors would never have dared. What does it matter what we call them? They don't exist.

But at the office now I am working on a project with a man who, in ignorance and arrogance, must have been especially rude to a particularly sensitive fée. He has a terrible gift, an unholy hybrid of King Midas and the Hydra:

Everything he touches turns into a monster.

Lernaean Hydra Louvre CA598

I am slashing off heads and cauterizing the stumps of the necks as best I can, but I am no hero, and have no helpful Iolaus, either.

This is a long fight.

Edmund Spenser

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