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Little People of the British Isles (The)

14 15 lAdIes oF the lAke mysterious maidens of moonlight During the light of a full moon, reflected upon a lake so still as to mirror the starlit sky an astonishingly beautiful species of the little people may sometimes be seen. The Asrai are gentle women of the water, many hundreds of years old, yet still very beautiful with long verdigris hair and webbed toes. Cornish legend knows fullmoon nights as asrai nights when these fairies come up to the waters surface to commune with the moon in all its glory. Because of their shyness the asrai are seldom seen, surfacing as little as once every century to dance under the moonlight to the music of crickets. Distant relatives of the mermaid, they cannot live on land and melt in the sun. Their Welsh cousins are the Gwragedd Annwn who live in sunken cities in the many lakes of Wales. Indeed every inland lake has a fairy divinity connected to it. Like many of the fair folk these lovely creatures are known to sometimes choose mortal men as their husbands, and may choose to live the limited span of a human life or her consort may join her in their realm of lengthened fairy time, nearly becoming immortal. Their magical masteries are formidable, yet only remote reflections remain of this knowing.
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