What’s the origin for April Fools’ Day? Do the Fairies know anything about it? Uh . . . Does the sun rise in the East?
April Fairy Fools
There are many theories for the origin of April Fools’ Day but most sources are quite careful to point out that no one knows for sure. They obviously haven’t talked to the Fairies about the subject.
Granted, it’s not easy to get the information out of them and sometimes requires a little guile. To get the Faerie version of April Fool’s history, I sat down under a budding apple tree on a warm afternoon in March, opened Ari Berk’s new book about Mermaids, and began reading. I didn’t have to wait long. All Fairies love stories.
“Whatcha reading?” The words separated themselves from the hum of bees in the blossoms above my head. I recognized the voice – Apian, a busy Fairy with black and gold streaked hair.
“All about Mermaids. It’s written by your friend, Ari Berk. Want me to read to you?”
“Can’t now. Too busy. When sun goes down.”
I waited. The warm gold of the late afternoon sun called the bees home and a soft hum by my left ear told me Apian had finished his work for the day. He settled on my shoulder and peered at the book.
“Good pictures.” I read aloud about merfolk until the waning light made it difficult to continue.
“It’s almost the end of March, you know, and I was thinking about what’s coming up in April. In our world, we call April 1 ‘April Fools’ Day but I have no idea what the history of that is. What do the Fairies know about the history of April Fool’s Day?”
“April What Day?”
“April Fools’ Day. You know. April 1st, when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Do you do that in Faerie as well?
“Never heard of it.”
I should have known better. Direct questions about generalized goings on in Faerie rarely work. So I tried a different tack. “That’s too bad. I’m trying to think of a practical joke to play on John. I thought if anyone could help me, you could.” Then, ignoring his “Never heard of it” comment and baiting my hook: “What’s the funniest April Fool’s joke you ever played on anyone?”
Fish on! He took the bait and ran with it, regaling me with his greatest exploits. Those stories are his to tell so I won’t give them away here but I managed to glean some information about the Fairies’ version of the history of April Fools’ Day.
Between the Spring Equinox (March 20) and Beltane (May 1), most Fairies work VERY hard. In the Northern Hemisphere, they’re coaxing trees to bloom, seeds to sprout, and eggs to hatch, just to name a few of their duties. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the final sprint to harvest time, pushing seeds and plants to the last ripening. Moments of high play are definitely called for during such intense work periods and there’s no patience for any Fairy who is late returning from Winter dreams.
April 1 is the absolute deadline for any Winter-slumbering Fairy to wake up and begin its work; if not, he or she is fair game for pranks, hoaxes, tricks, or other diabolical inventions. Take a walk April 1. If you see a tree that doesn’t have buds ready to pop, look closely. Is the tree wrapped in spider webs? Does it have a colony of ants marching up and down the trunk? Pity the tree’s Fairy who has obviously overslept and will have a mess to deal with when she finally shows up.
The Fairies don’t limit their practical jokes to each other. It’s Spring, the time of beginnings, which set the tone and schedule for the rest of the year. If you haven’t planted seeds, thrown open the windows, cleaned the house, or danced a jig in the park by April 1, watch out. – you are fair game for Fairy mischief.