I’m from Australia as well. Irish descent on both sides. I guess when you’re brought up like I was, with a wickedly wonderful story-telling Granny and a fiercely patriotic Mother who’d never allow an Irish joke to be told in the house, it’s no wonder I too found myself in the presence of a real, honest to goodness ‘little person’ one day long ago.
This experience changed me.
It was liberating and exciting because I’d always believed they existed but also believe they only existed in Europe, Ireland etc.
I live on the New South Wales (NSW) central coast. It was boxing day, I think about 1999 or 2000.
I had separated from my husband and my best friend was in the same process so she and I decided to have boxing day together with our kids (my 3 & her 4), picnicking on the bank of Wyong Creek.
We were joined by a couple of extra friends and kids. We took a big lunch and canoes. Before lunch we went together in a few canoes for a paddle along the creek, under a bridge, past some old houses.
On our return we were making our way back to where we’d set up, and a couple of the bigger kids were paddling beside us in the shallows.
I heard the frantic barking of a small dog coming close to us along the bank.
I turned to see what was going on.
I saw a tiny figure, about 30cm tall no more, running for all it was worth.
It was like a tiny man with his head back.
Arms drawn up.
Racing right down a half submerged fallen tree in the water.
Striding down, joining hands in front of itself…
it dived into the water and disappeared with the dog (an Australian silkie terrier whose name was Friday, I never forgot it) right behind and it’s owner in hot pursuit.
The owner, a young girl, apologised profusely for the ruckus, scooped the dog up and left.
I turned to my friend in the other canoe.
All of us apart from the littlest kids were there, gaping mouths, wide eyed and just kept saying “you saw that, right?”
“Did you see what I saw?”
It was unmistakable and unforgettable.
Funnily enough, I often took my kids for long drives down to Wiseman’s Ferry for fun and would point out a strip along the way that I’d tell them “that’s where the Faeries live”..
Gabrielle. NSW, Australia.