No Red Dead: A Tale Of Two Lucys

Items found on the run (while running) now include winged pipers. Make that sparkling red winged pipers with golden lassos and hairstyles which remind me of Lucy Van Pelt.

I thought at first they were smoking those pipes rather than playing them but … um, the bowls of their pipes are inverted, so I guess not. But what a hoot to imagine Lucy Van Pelt smoking a pipe.

And I am saying they because the piper looks different on each side so we are surely dealing with two different personalities here. But both with Lucy hair. Two sides of the same Lucy or two Lucys with the same haircut? Oh, the mystery. Until I am otherwise informed I am calling them Lucy Red and Lucy Black for obvious reasons.

I found them on the ground rather than flying through the air so the impression was that they had either fallen or were resting. If it was a fall I assume they were lassoed to something and became freed. One can only speculate if this was the result of a struggle on their part or an accident. If the lassoes were in use to keep them tethered while resting then a mishap must have sent them floating to the ground. One wonders why they wouldn’t fly to safety rather than lie down in the street. They must have been too exhausted.

They didn’t fly out of my grasp after I rescued them from the street, nor have they been spotted flying around my house since I brought them home. Perhaps their wings are ornamental or vestigial? Like ostriches or chickens? I haven’t heard any piping either, now that I think about it. Must be the captivity causing them to hush. I’m thinking I should set them free. However, we are in the grips of an ice storm here in Mercyburg so surely their temporary confinement within my home is a form of refuge. Soon as it looks safe; although in retrospect who am I to say they weren’t perfectly safe where I found them, when I found them? What’s unsafe for flying glitter tooters?

I hope I have not unwittingly committed a faux pas by bring them home. My little brother tried unsuccessfully to keep several turtles alive in a shoe box in his bedroom and each attempt ended in disappointment. Have I tried to do the same with these Lucy Fluters? They don’t appear to be suffering but how would I know? They don’t appear to be anything. Are they dead already? Gulp. This would certainly explain the lack of flight and pipesong. Is this what it looks like when Wild Floboes (flying + oboe) get squashed by cars? Were they once lush and plump with viable instruments? Then a car came along and now they are flattened, skeletal, bruised, with flaccid pipes? Lucy, are you dead? No response.

Flip. Same question.

Still no response.

This is the first time I’ve brought home a running route foundling only to ended up feeling sad about it. I guess it’s just the unknown aspect. That day I found the bird skull I didn’t feel sad at all and I was SURE it was dead. The glitter comes off in chunks like moss. Or is this the bloom of decay? Sparkle fungus? Perhaps these creatures were placed in the street as a ritual the way some humans float their dead down sacred rivers or throw their ashes off cliffs. Come to think of it, the next day when I ran by the spot where I found them there was a fire burning. Oh dear, what have I done? Please tell me I haven’t arrested or desecrated a burial rite. And if so, how in the world would one make amends for such a thing? Put them back?

I feel like a dolt. A grave robber. A pillager villager.

Since this is the Year of Honesty I confess I just popped away in the middle of writing this post to research:

  • Can fairies die?
  • How do fairies die?
  • Are there fairy funerals?
  • Are fairies buried or what?

The answers are:

  • Yes
  • Several different methods but NOT by car accident
  • Yes
  • Yes, buried.

Interestingly, what we know of fairies comes from Europe about European fairies. Native Americans had knowledge of the fae before Europeans came but little survived the tragedies and injustices inflicted upon the cultures of our First Nations people. Modern-day Americans don’t know jack shit about indigenous American fairy lives, deaths, or funerary practices. All we seem to know about them are characterizations of good or bad, nice or mean, scary or jokester, steals children or doesn’t; nothing helpful to me in this situation.

The general consensus seems to be that fairies as we understand them today were imported as stowaways to the New World with European immigrants. It is therefore highly unlikely that I have committed a grievance against fae folke since there are no known American observances and European fairies are not laid in streets upon their deaths. In the event fairies have no nationality and know no borders, it was probably a good thing I got the Lucys out of the road so they might be laid to rest properly and respectfully.

This is where I would typically type a sigh of relief but during my research I discovered folklore claiming that every time we utter a sigh we kill a fairy. So don’t do that. It is also known (now by me as well) that fairies generally come and go as they please and it is nearly impossible to keep them in captivity. Walt Disney took some license with the caging of Tinkerbell — that wasn’t realistic. If these Lucys are alive they would/will leave whenever they get ready and I won’t be able to stop them. If they are dead I can either bury them in the ground or place them in the woods and let Nature do the rest. Since I can’t be sure about the dead part I’m going with Nature. There is no harm in waiting until the ice storm passes to do so since any other fairies who might be missing them can come get warm in the meantime.

One clue that the Lucys might not be dead? The paintings of fairy funerals passed down through antiquity depict the departed fae as white or very pale. No red dead, as far as I can tell. And not beglittered and not buried with clarinets. So my silent guests are a) probably alive and b) must have their own reasons for not piping in my presence. That’s cool. Perhaps they simply want to be asked/invited to play or maybe they are enjoying a break. I did transport them here without permission so it’s rather presumptuous of me to expect they would feel like entertaining me. Whether their feelings toward me are grateful (for the rescue) or hateful (for assuming they needed my rescue) I’m going to offer my apologies for presuming them dead and then leave them be.

Pipe or don’t, fae friends; it’s all good. You do you. But Shelter From The Storm would be lovely when you feel like taking requests.

— Mercy

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