The Enchanted Elfin Oak in Kensington Gardens
Don’t look up – there is a black witch in the tree! Oh, a bit too late? But don’t worry, the old lady cannot hurt you. She is behind bars.
Am I the only one who finds the creatures on this 900-year-old oak tree trunk a bit creepy? As in, they crawled out of a horror movie creepy. As in, they are going to haunt you in your dreams creepy. So yeah, just a tiny bit creepy.
“for centuries now it has been the home of fairies, gnomes, elves, imps, and pixies”.
And was I the only one feeling a bit relieved to see that protective cage around their home? It might have been built to protect us from them. No? Well, just sayin’.
“It is their hiding-place by day, their revelry place by night”
Nevertheless, as I am kinda fond of everything eerie and a bit out there, I was bewitched from the first time I’d have heard about the Elfin Oak in Kensington Gardens and knew a visit would be in order sooner or later. Then one chilly morning, I was… in the neighbourhood, so I thought I may as well stroll by and have a good look.
It was even more creepy and awesome in real life than I had anticipated (based on photos online).
They just look so realistic… for magical beings. And mischievous. Maybe even a bit sinister? When you think about it, fairies, gnomes, elves, imps and pixies are not supposed to be cute and snuggly (like pets), but are closer to the wild things of the woods – they are secretive, impish and maybe a little bit evil. (The Darkest Part of the Forest anyone?)
I reckon, their creator captured the truest form of them.
Funny thing, there is actually a children book based on the Elfin Oak – The Elfin Oak of Kensington Gardens illustrated by the sculptor Ivor Innes – telling how all these elves, gnomes and their forest animal friends came to live in the nooks and crannies of an old tree. I wonder how they are portrayed there. Scary or friendly? Sadly, the book was published more than eighty years ago and is now out of print, but if anyone read it by chance – spoil me! I’m definitely curious.
Enjoy the pictures, and then… sweet dreams my dears…