Thursday, 8 November 2007

There's Magic in These Here Hills...

While we were in Edinburgh, my Mum & Dad house-sat and looked after the animals for us. At some point during those five days, Dad lost the glass 'lens' from his watch. They hunted high and low, but it was nowhere to be found, and in the end they gave it up as a lost cause, deciding to get it fixed when they returned home.

Towards the end of their stay with us, I went down to give the chickens their afternoon treat of wheat (they love scratching around for it, and all cluster by the gate when they know it's imminent). Lo and behold, in perfect condition and lying in plain sight by the chicken house was the glass from my Dad's watch. We had looked there a number of times before without success, so we decided it must have been turned up by the chickens while they were scratching.

That same week, Mum, Dad & I drove out to the Pembrokeshire coast to visit Porthgain (a tiny fishing port) and St Non's Well near St David's (a holy well in a stunning clifftop position overlooking the sea). Later that evening, I realised I had lost my silver pendant.

I was really upset. For one thing it has great sentimental value, as T had bought it for me as a birthday present when we were on holiday in Australia. For another, it's my 'subtle pentacle' - living as I do in an area with fiercely evangelical Christian neighbours, I have to be a little bit careful and keep my Pagan identity a secret most of the time. This pendant is a five-pointed star within a circle (a pentacle, the sign that Witches wear as a Christian would wear a crucifix), but it's not an obvious pentacle, so I feel comfortable wearing it openly. I have never seen another exactly like it.

I pulled out all the stops trying to track it down. Mum, Dad and I combed the house, car and garden - down the back of the sofa, under the car seat, in the outhouses, on the drive, in the grass on the path down the hill. For a variety of reasons I couldn't go back to Porthgain and St Non's well and hunt for it myself, but I sent out a flurry of emails, to the restaurant where we'd eaten lunch, the retreat centre near the holy well, St David's tourist centre, Pembrokeshire local radio, and a Pembrokeshire 'local news' yahoo group. The response was wonderful, people searched for it, emailed back suggestions of other contacts to try, and offered handy hints like taking a metal detector down to the places we'd been to try and find it. Everyone really was lovely.

But the pendant remained lost. After a fortnight I was out of places to look and out of luck. I gave up any idea of getting it back, and wondered wistfully about asking my sister (a silversmith) to make me a new one.

Last night I took the chickens their afternoon scratch feed of wheat. And guess what was lying in plain sight in the chicken run?

Now, like Dad's watchglass it must have been there all along, hidden in the grass until it was scratched up by an insect-seeking chicken. Or must it? Perhaps we have criminal mastermind kleptomaniac chickens? Or kindhearted fairies living under the chicken house who run a Lost Property office? I'm keeping an open mind. And I've told my friend, who lost a pair of glasses at the supermarket, that I'll keep an eye open for them in the chicken run. Just in case.


Joanna said...

I love this story. And your lovely witching pentagram


Reya Mellicker said...

I think you have magic chicken who can conjure lost items if only you'll give them just a little extra wheat at snack time.

So glad you got your pendant back!

solsticedreamer said...

i love the idea of the fairy lost property office...with the chickens as a front!

Leanne said...

what a wonderfully happy ending!

My little hens always remind me of bustling little ladies, I can imagine pinny's tied around their waists (do chickens have waists?)Maybe your hens are similiar- a litttle like sleuthing Rosemary and Thyme's, chicken version, off solving mystery disappearances of much loved possessions, maybe aided by the fairies of course.

Leanne x

miss*R said...

haven't read the post yet but just want to say that I would love you to come visit my Christmas blog... can you email me so that I have your email address? thanks xo
ps - thanks for the gorgeous comment on my blog.... Dark of the moon always gets me into a spin :)
and I would love to meet up when I visit the UK! I am sure I can put Wales on my agenda xo

miss*R said...

if you find odd socks, they are mine!

seriously though.. sometimes the fey really do 'borrow' things... it happens often to me.. I begin to think I am going crazy..

oh and they still witch hunt in Wales too? ...

so tell me, where in Australia did you buy it? There is a pagan jeweller near me and he makes the best things... I bought a pendant of the moon , a hare and a faery.. it is gorgeous.

I am glad you round your pendant... I was going to offer to buy you one from here :)

Moonroot said...

Yes, I'm definitely startring to think the chickens and fairies are in cahoots. I'm going to take Reya's suggestion and feed them some extra treats and see what else turns up - Miss R, I'll keep a close look out for socks!
We bought the pendant in Kuranda in Queensland. Miss R, your pendant sounds gorgeous - are you going to post a photo so we can take a look?.

Rowan said...

A fairy lost property office is a lovely idea:) I'm so glad you found your pendant, but sorry that you have that sort of neighbour. Your spiritual life and the jewellery that you choose to wear is really none of their business. I wonder if the chickens have the pair of all the single ear-rings I now possesss? :)

Cottage Smallholder said...

What a magical story. Beautifully written. Thank you.