There’s a wonderful folktale from Scotland, called “The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies.” It’s very hard to find, either online or in books. I heard it once in a lecture from the Jung Institute, and it has stayed with me.
I wrote a poem from it:
Captured by the Fairies
Carried off down the forest path,
that other world wants what she has,
something there needs nourishing.
On the way home from the feast,
when she’s exhausted,
having every charm but
conscience and consistency,
nodding, drowsy with baking,
she’s loaded off .
The fairies – very easily offended,
very easily pleased.
Capriciousness their chief occupation.
Feasting, fighting, making love, playing music,
they hunger for
the numinous power of flour and egg and milk…
The captured cook calls for her cat,
in the imagination…
her dog, always the lolling fall guy,
her pots and pans
Out of one comes two.
Out of two comes three,
and the fairies hold their delicate deerlike ears
and cry –
the kitchen noise too much for them.
The fairies send her home,
drowsy with gold,
drunk with victory,
wiping her apron on the crumbs
of the contract-
Every year when the yeasty powdery fall flies,
she comes back
to bake a cake
just for them.