Poetry

Fairy Pieces

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A fairy piece
is a variant or
combination on
the established chess tokens,
such as the Princess,
the Sargent,
and the Knightmare.

They are used only
in unorthodox chess,
where you might try
to force your opponent
into checkmating you
and in programming,
where a computer might
know over a thousand
unique pieces.

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In 2012,
five hundred new
fairy tales were unearthed
in Regensberg, Germany
originally collected in the 1800s
by Franz Schönwerth.

He was highly respected
by The Brothers Grimm.

But while they weaved
romance into their stories,
Franz remained a historian,
his tales giving us a rare look
into the lives and times
of those who told
these stories first

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed
the Cottingly fairies existed
and attended seances
held in a magician’s parlor,
he was even friends with
Houdini, for a time.

Arthur was convinced Harry
truly had some mystic power
and the illusionist was
never able to convince him
it was all just a trick.

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Bridget Cleary fell ill
in the spring of 1895
and after several
worsening days
a priest was sent for.

Her husband was blinded
by grief and refused to believe
this woman was actually his wife,
and convinced himself that
she had been replaced
by a changeling.

With nine witnesses present,
her father and husband
poured urine onto her skin and
forced her, pleading
into a roaring fireplace.

They hid her body in a ditch
and went home to hold vigil,
so that the real Bridget
might come home.

To this day, in Ireland
you can hear
schoolgirls singing:

Are you a witch,
are you a fairy,
or are you the wife of
Michael Cleary?

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