Last night, I explained to Garry about house-elves. He isn’t a big reader of fantasy, as I am, so some of this stuff hasn’t gnawed at the edges of his consciousness.

I told him if we were to leave milk and cookies out, the little folk would come to our house. Overnight, while we sleep, they would clean, scrub, repair, and cook. Fix the roof. Clear the snow. When we got up the next morning, the coffee would be ready along with delicious, fresh baked goods.

solarized art effect horizontal kitchen

He looked at me. I think he wasn’t sure if he had heard me. “Is this like, real anywhere? Has this actually happened somewhere?”

“No,” I said. “Only in folk tales and myth. And Harry Potter. But wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? We could leave out milk, cookies, and an old pair of socks. Just in case.”


One eyebrow went up. “And something that already lives here would surely eat it. And Bonnie would abscond with the socks. Our kids would be sure to leave us something. Probably not fresh baked goods … or a clean house.”

Just for a second or two, I had him. Myth and magic live. So much better than reality, aren’t they?

21 thoughts on “MYTH, MAGIC, AND HOUSEKEEPING – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Truly a delightful flight of fancy and so worthwhile! I go there myself quite often. Now if only I had Samantha’s nose or Genie’s ability, I’d have it made in the shade I think.


  2. Yes myth and magic are much better than reality. As a child I was fond of a series of books entitled “The Borrowers….” The idea was that these weensy little people co-existed with humans and were responsible for the things that disappear with no logical explanations. Not valuable things (most of the time), but things like buttons, nail scissors, caps to bottles (medicine bottles), thread, needles, and really anything that could be repurposed into a tool or a house hold item if one were teeny tiny. The borrowers, though, unlike the more useful house elves; didn’t do anything in return for their ‘borrows’, but they didn’t take more than they needed either. Humans weren’t supposed to see them.

    I also admired tales like the “Shoemaker and the Elves” and the idea that putting out milk and perhaps some edible would garner one a clean house, mended clothing or socks, maybe even new shoes!

    Those ideas which (to me) engender magic. Magic IS real, if one has the imagination and the fanciful nature to believe in it. Will we have clean homes and folded laundry as a result? Nope. But we do get a ‘prize’ IMHO…we get to virtually live in our fantasy worlds for a while. For me that’s plenty. Reality sucks. I’m glad there are doors (through books and films) to escape reality for a space of time.

    Liked by 2 people

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