2 min read

Excerpt from Finding Fairies

by Michelle Roehm McCannMarianne Monson-Burton

Asia is full of fairies and the stories about them are as ancient as time itself. Some Asian fairies are very powerful and outrageous-looking, while others disguise themselves as ordinary humans. Who know? Maybe someone you know is a fairy!

You would never have to clean your room again if you shared your home with a Chinese house fairy. These industrious creatures love to sweep, scrub, dust, and do all the household chores. At night they tiptoe through neighborhoods and into homes while humans are sleeping to choose the families they want to live with.  You can entice them to stay at your house by burning incense or leaving an irresistible gift of cinnamon, cherries, peaches, oranges, or white lilies. And be sure your pots and pans are clean—that’s where Chinese house fairies rest for the night.

Chinese fairies are known for their fantastic rewards, which they give to humans who show their kindness. One ancient story tells of a young boy who rescued and cared for a wounded bird. The bird was really a fairy in disguise! When he was well enough to fly again, the grateful bird gave the young hero a pumpkin seed as a reward. The boy thought it was a strange gift, but he planted the seed anyways. When the first pumpkin grew, he cut it open and out poured hundreds of gold coins! So, always be kind to animals…they may be fairies in disguise.

Wouldn’t you love to have a fairy airport in your house? Chinese house fairies only live in places where they can easily take off and fly at any moment. To entice one of these creatures, your room must be open. If it has lots of sharp corners, posts, or beams, a fairy’s flight path will be blocked. But you can fix this by putting small mirrors over any trouble spots. Mirrors act as magic doorways for these friendly helpers.

On clear days in the mountains, look for Chinese fairy castles hiding between the tall peaks. And when the moon is full, search the shadows of the lunar landscape for the royal fairy palace called Kuang-han kung, the Palace of the Boundless Cold. It’s roads are paved with shimmering jade and silver, and the buildings gleam with gold and agate.

Chinese Cherry Dumplings

The fairies of China are sure to flock around these delicious cherry dumplings!

What You Need

For cherry mixture:

  • 4 cups pitted red cherries (canned or fresh)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca

 For dumplings:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ Tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 Tsp. melted butter

What You Do

  1. Pour undrained cherries into skillet.
  2. Add ½ cup sugar and sprinkle on tapioca.
  3. Let stand while preparing dumpling dough.
  4. In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt, and ¼ cup sugar.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly to form dough.
  6. Bring cherry mixture in the pan to a boil.
  7. Drop the dough by the tablespoons into the boiling mixture.
  8. Cover the skillet and cook for twenty minutes. Serve warm with milk or cream. It will make six dumplings.

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