Changeling, a faerie baby

The Changeling is an old Irish myth about a faerie baby swapped for a human child very close to birth.

Faerie Babies

According to a lot of legends, childbirth is extremely difficult for faerie females. Many of their children die in childbirth, or are born deformed. The faeries are repulsed by this deformed child and sneak into the mortal world to swap their baby with a perfect human child. Once swapped, the abandoned faerie child brings chaos to its new human family. Other times, the child got really sick and died quickly.

Preventing A Changeling Swap

Most people believed that once a child was baptized and so belonged to the Church, the faeries couldn’t switch him. Other beliefs involved leaving open iron scissors or tongs above the crib to scare away faeries. Leaving an article of the father’s clothing over the baby as it sleeps hides him from the faeries. Or, you could go the old fashioned route and watch the child 24/7.

Revealing A Changeling

If you’re concerned your child is not really human, you can always trick the intelligent creatures into revealing themselves. Asking the child to assist with an impossible task like cooking whole meal in an eggshell or just boiling the shells, depending on your legend. That sounds pretty weird to me.

Of course, you could always leave a set of bagpipes near the crib. Apparently Irish faeries can’t resist and faerie music will pour from the house.

A Changeling Story

When writing your changeling story, it’s important to figure out what kind of faerie your changeling was. Maybe a troll, which is the most common. In some legends, changeling children never realize their not human and lead a normal life. In other stories, the children grow up and try to go back to the land of the fae. Either way, that would be quite an adventure, right?

As always, if you enjoyed your faerie-cation, please share this post with your friends on your favorite social media. If you have any more questions or maybe an idea for an intriguing changeling plot line, leave me a comment!


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