Picture the scene. A family on holiday in the highlands of Scotland. They have had their dinner in their creaky but comfortable hotel and are now out enjoying the evening air. The aprés dinner stroll on holiday has an air of self-satisfaction to it, unsurpassed by all other activities*. The family are content. They have walked a circuit round the village and are now returning along a road that slopes downwards towards the peripheral houses. To the left of them, the hill slopes upwards into a thick blanket of bracken, moss and heather. To their right, a thick pine forest runs down towards the loch, a hundred yards below.

The sun is low in the sky. The light is a heady mix of peaches and cream and the road is honeycomb orange. The pines cast a shadow down the middle of the road. Unselfconsciously the family walks abreast of the road, confident that they will hear any vehicle behind them, or see anything before them. They chat. Distracted. Happy.

Then up ahead, not far ahead, only five or six yards away, a black cat has walked out into the road and seeing the approaching family, has returned back to the safety and anonymity of the forest. It was a short stroll for the cat, only a matter of seconds. But the family saw it. And the sight of it silenced them.

Because the cat walked on its hind legs. And, it wasn’t a cat.

It couldn’t be. It was a… Well, it couldn’t be. The way it walked. The rhythm of its gait, the way its head was bowed, the curve of its back, and its two arms held out in front of it like, like… It was the same size as a black cat, and the same shade: featureless, an animated silhouette. But it wasn’t a cat. It was a little person. 

And the family saw this. Certainly, they reacted as if something had happened, because the talking stopped. Like a switch tripped, the sighting had banished the atmosphere of human discourse and a strange silence descended. A conspiracy of silence. The family just continued back to the hotel without saying a word. As if they had just been threatened by a murderer, or struck by blow to the head. The sighting was never discussed amongst them then, or to this day**.

Only I’ve decided to share this experience now. It was my family and I would have been about 9 or 10 years old at the time.

I’ve had quite a few incredible experiences, which naturally, I’d rather not discuss. I rarely share my own experiences for fear of not being taken seriously. After all, we talk about a witness being credible, so how can a credible witness witness the incredible?  They can’t. Experiences outside the norm are stigmatizing. Normality asserts itself through intimidation and ridicule. Paranormal Investigators are usually motivated by proving the existance of the paranormal, by presenting credible witnesses, credible testimony and credible evidence. Their case isn’t helped by the ridiculous and the incredible.  

And ‘The Little People‘ out of all paranormal phenomena are quite patently the most ridiculous and the least credible.. But, wouldn’t you know, I have seen ‘a little person‘. This makes me sound like a right nutter, and once you combine that with my ‘I saw the Loch Ness Monster***‘ anecdote, then I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to stop reading now (and forever more). I’m just as sceptical as you are. I find it just as incredible as you do. It’s just that, I’m the person who has had this experience and it’s incumbent on me to rationalise it.

So, who might the ‘Little People’ be? Well, I am now well aware of the folklore, both traditional and modern, regarding the ‘little people’, but I’m going to skip all that. I can do no better than recommend ‘The Fairy Faith‘ by Evans-Wentz, or the work of Katharine Mary Briggs. For myself, I assert no concrete reality to the little people – or indeed, demand that any paranormal experience be accepted as ‘real’. I am happy to accept that my experiences were some kind of extra-subjective experience, not para-normal, but something between real and unreal****.

I think that if it is possible for people to dream of fantastic lands like Atlantis or Hy-Brasil, then so too can the land dream of people. Except the land dreams of people as people should be: discreet, timeless and sparkling with wisdom.

I apologise if this makes me sound as if I’m advocating a conscious universe, a neo-platonic animistic dreamworld, a holographic infoverse, but I am. And if that makes me sound as if I’m away with the fairies, then maybe I am.

Maybe I am.

 

For Footnotes and a further illustration, see my Wordpress Blog

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Tags: Briggs, Elemental, Encounter, Evans-Wentz, Faerie, Faeries, Fairies, Fairy, Fortean, Incredible, More…Innes, Katharine, Life, Little, Loch, Mary, Monster, Ness, Nonsense, Paranormal, People, Real, Scotland, Smith, Story, The, Times, confession, embarrassing, ever, most, with

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