To the offices of Strange Tales Magazine regarding case no. 748:
I have arrived and spent three weeks interviewing the residents and staff of Riverbend Manor on the subject of The Mayfly Bride fairy tale. It seems to have originated from here, so I am on the right track. The tale also seems to be a genuine family story, and not a fabrication in response to our call for new, unheard stories of the Fae Folk in the last issue.
The most complete version, compiled from the interviews, is as follows:
There once was a man, vain, foolish, and careless of those he hurt, who was tricked by the Fae. He was be-spelled at a party to wed a Fairy, a most mesmerizing creature of air and light. The entire courtship was a few hours of dancing, eating, and laughing. He took her home from the party, to his house and bed, and they slept in each others arms. When the man woke in the morning to an unfamiliar sound, he found his bride, a Mayfly Fairy, was no more than a dried husk, as if she had died from great age, and there was a babe nestled between them.
The moral of the story seems to change depending on the speaker. Some say his punishment of raising a half Fae child–alone–was because of his careless life. Others maintain that loosing his true love was the punishment, and the child a love token from a regretful bride. I, personally, think raising a child that could have a vastly different lifespan than my own would be the true punishment, but then I remind myself that it is just a fairy tale.
Here are photographs of the original toy and poem that prompted the family to contact us. I have arraigned it artfully with other items of the manor nursery, mostly of indeterminate age and origin.
The composition of the doll is cotton fabric over sticks, with no padding. The construction gives it an oddly empty, disjointed feel in the hand. The dress and details are of silks, cottons and a few pearls. The wings are inked designs on hot pressed paper. There is some damage and staining due to handling, probably by small children, but not as much as you would expect.
Here are pictures and a typed version of the poem. The penmanship is remarkable. It seems the English tradition of bad poetry written in secret is well upheld.
My Mayfly Bride
A ball became a wedding
Petite-fours our cake
Fairy lights lit our way to my door
Why did I not question the spell?
We have searched the first of the manor storage rooms for any more physical evidence for the Mayfly Bride stories, but have found nothing. The housekeeper has been helpful, but she is too new to know where anything is, or how the family organizes things.
I will send an update when we find something of note.
For more information, see;
Case no. 748: The Mayfly Bride: Update (6/24/17)
Case no. 748: The Mayfly Bride: Second Update (6/25/17)