The Fairy Trail
By: Dan Gibbs
Fairies first appeared in the written record around 700 B.C. in Theogony by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod. Theogony was a poem about the genealogies of the gods. He wrote about two types of nymphs- okeanides who were nymphs of fresh water spring, streams, and meadows and the meliai who were mountain dwelling tree nymphs.
Fairies played an integral part in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The most famous fairy of them all, Tinkerbell, appeared in J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up in 1904. Tinkerbell was novelized in 1911 in Peter and Wendy. Walt Disney brought Tinkerbell to the movies in 1953 with his animation of Peter Pan.
Fairies also made an appearance in Season 6 Episode 9 of the television show Supernatural and the episode was entitled “Clap Your Hands if You Believe.” Fairies have been a part of our culture and lore for over 2500 years.
Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville has created their own version of a magical fairy trail and village in their woods. These fairies would be described by Hesiod as the “meliai” or the tree dwelling wood nymphs.
The Fairy Trail leads you through the woods past several fairy houses and trees with doors in them, instructions by William Shakespeare as to what to do if you see a tiny fairy, the Fairy Good Bakery, and the Ivy Patch Fun Park. The trail leads you to the village where there is a church and a table with tree stumps for chairs for you to sit and watch for the fairies. Then the trail leads you back out of the woods.
The Fairy Trail can be seen Monday thru Saturday 9-4 until August 31. Bullington Gardens describes the Fairy Trail as being “for the young and the young at heart.” It is well worth a look for people of any age.