Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birds and the Bees of Fairies

The other day I noticed the latest Disney Tinker Bell movie running on TV. Unable to squelch my curiosity, I had a gander. Cute. Pretty animation. But I’m not here to discuss the movie per se. Truth is I stopped watching after a quarter of an hour or so. It did pose, though, a question I couldn’t ignore. In the movie, Tink winds up in the room of a little girl. Tink wants to leave, but it’s raining very hard outside and thus, she cannot fly home. So, she spends some time with the little girl and I must say that I’m very glad Tink needs to ‘sign’ and gesture with nods or shakes to communicate with the girl. The girl heard her as jingling noises. Quite right upon first meeting a fairy. But let’s back up a minute. She couldn’t fly in the rain?

Naturally my interest in the matter piqued. Can fairies fly in the rain? Had I really even thought about it before? Before I continue, let me specify that I am speaking of fairies within the world of Sir J.M. Barrie only. It didn’t take long for me to recall the storm in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld. Denny (the fairy) didn’t want to go out in the storm. However, his fear stems from that particular tempest. In other words, reading it through again, Denny doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea to fly in a regular storm. And knowing Denny, he’d accompany Peter Pan. So, I suppose it’s safe to say I seemed at the time of writing it to believe fairies could fly in the rain.

There’s no mention of rain in Barrie in relation to the fairies. But there is no evidence that they cannot fly in it. At best there’s some iffy information from Peter Pan in regards to their limitations.

This post is in no way meant to shake a finger at Disney. Quite the contrary… I enjoyed the dilemma. And obviously there’s no definitive answer to be gleaned from the texts.

But I did look up the birds and the bees. To sum up, birds can fly in the rain on account of their hollow bone lightness and the oily feathers slicking off rain. Bees, contrary to popular belief and common sense, can fly in the rain. They just don’t like to! Yes, really, as per bee-keepers. Since we have the common sense of thinking a bee in the rain might not work well, so have the bees.

So perhaps we can leave it at that, then, as it will also suffice in Disney’s movie… since the fairies might not want to be like the birds (fairies have their tiffs with the birds says Barrie), they might then be like the bees. Fairies can fly in the rain, but don’t like to…


Lewelyn-H said...

In the original Disney Fairies books (which I still think you should read!) fairies can't get their wings wet, because they get really heavy when they are in contact with water and it makes it impossible for them to fly =)

Peter Von Brown said...

Thanks for the additiional info on the Disney fairies. I guess that negates my thoery as regard to them. However, I'll still stick to Barrie fairies, thanks. :)

Lewelyn-H said...

How about if you read it just as another story?
Disconnect if from Barrie, just see it as an epic tale of fairies and mermaids and pirates and dragons?