Jane sat on the rocking chair under the shade of their porch. She could hardly believe that it had only been a day since she’d made her way into the Old Fairy Kingdom and met so many memorable fairy creatures. She was a little afraid that when she went to sleep that night, she would wake up and have no memory of Ataneq, Euthalia or the beautiful Fairy Queen.
My grandmother, she thought with some astonishment. She had always believed that both her parents were orphans - true enough on Darrick’s side.
I have a great grandfather too! It was hard to wrap her head around. Opening her journal in her lap, she started to write, trying to remember every detail of the day before it faded away.
Hearing a sound beside her, she looked up to find a beautiful girl sitting next to her, watching her write.
“Who are you?” she asked, surprised at her lack of astonishment, as if somehow since last night, nothing could astonish or frighten her anymore.
The girl laughed, a cheery tinkling sound. “I am one of the Zână. I bestow gifts of beauty and fortune to those who deserve them. I’ve always been with you in this place.”
“Have you? I’ve never seen you before.”
“You’ve only just had your eyes opened,” the Zână replied.
Jane thought about it for a while. “That’s true. But how do I know you are who you say you are?”
“I suppose you have to take me on trust.”
“Can my mother see you?”
“Of course she can. Do you think I come here just to watch you write?” she laughed again. “Though it is fun. You do make up such interesting things.”
Jane blushed. “I’ve never shown this to anyone.”
“Oh, I’m not quite anyone. And don’t worry. I haven’t told any of this to your mother.”
“Pinky promise. That’s what you say, don’t you?”
“Well. Do you want to go play? We could go to the stream and meet the Ghillie Dhu. He’s real fun - when he’s not trying to sleep.”
Jane pursed her lips as she thought. “You know what, I’m going to talk to my mother about you. Just in case.”
The Zână smiled. “Go ahead, Jane. I’ll be right here when you come back.”
Closing her journal, Jane tucked the book under her arm as she walked into the kitchen.
“There’s this girl on the porch who says she’s a Zână.”
“Oh, Diana? What about her?”
“Remember you said we need to be careful?”
“Oh, don’t worry about her. She’s been around for a long time. In fact, she used to help me take care of you. I wondered when you’d notice her.”
“Okay then. Can I…”
“Go off and play with her. Just remember to come home for dinner.”
Ivy smiled indulgently as Jane ran back out the door.
“Are you sure about this?” Darrick asked, looking up from the woodcarving he was working on.
“Oh, she’ll be safe. After all, she has important family in all three lands. Who would dare harm her?”
Back to the theme list.
Zână (plural zâne; zînă and zîne, d̦ână and d̦âne in old spellings) is the Romanian equivalent of the Greek Charites. They are the opposite of monsters like Muma Padurii. These characters make positive appearances in fairy tales and reside mostly in the woods. They can also be considered the Romanian equivalent of fairies and of the Germanic Elf.
They give life to fetuses in utero and bestow upon them great gifts like the art of dancing, beauty, kindness, and luck. In folk tales, it is told not to upset them because they also have the power to do bad things or put a curse on the wrongdoer. They also act like guardian angels, especially for children who enter the woods, or for other good people.
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