Read a text about the legend of fairies to practise and improve your reading skills.
Today's fairies are the stuff of children's legends; they are diminutive, mystical beings with wings that frequently glow with light. They are typically feminine, attractive, and, like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, use their magic to perform small tasks and are generally amiable toward people.
Shakespeare and tales from the 18th and 19th centuries are to blame for many of our contemporary notions of fairies. Although the origins of fairies may be traced to the Ancient Greeks, comparable beings can be found in many different cultures. The Greek concept that trees and rivers had spirits known as dryads and nymphs contains the oldest references to fairies. Some people believe that the gods of previous, pagan religions that revered nature were initially these creatures. They lost significance and were supplanted by the Greek and Roman gods, then subsequently by the Christian God, who diminished in size and strength.
Another theory claims that rather than being spirits, fairies are the recollection of actual people. So, for instance, some of the people fled and hid in the jungles and caves when tribes using metal weapons attacked a region where the natives primarily used stone weapons. The belief that fairies are scared of iron and cannot touch it lends credence to this theory. The people in hiding, who lived outside of society, presumably stole food and attacked settlements. This may help to explain why fairies were frequently accused of tricking people. People once genuinely thought that fairies would kidnap new babies and replace them with "changelings," or that they would kidnap young moms and force them to provide their milk to fairy babies.
While the majority of people now do not believe in fairies, a century ago, some people were open to the idea. Elsie Wright, then 16 years old, captured two images of Frances Griffiths, then 9 years old, seated with fairies in 1917. Photographic specialists have differing opinions about whether or not they were fakes. However, the author of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, Arthur Conan Doyle, thought they were real. In 1920, he published the original photographs together with three more images the girls took for him. Years later, in 1983, the girls finally revealed the pictures were fabricated from dancer images that Elsie had plagiarised from a book.