Oct 20

Tales from the North: The Vengeful Fairy

by in Asia, Pakistan

Folks in the Northern Areas believe that if an ibex stands still on a plain, it is doing so because it is being milked by a fairy, and hunters must wait until it has left the plain to shoot on it. I laughed when I first heard this from another tourist but she cautioned that she had met a man with first-hand experience in the matter. He was a hunter who had come across a trophy ibex standing upright on flat ground and in plain sight. Sensing a rare opportunity to bag a stationary target from close range, he placed the animal behind the crosshairs of his scope and pulled the trigger.

An ibex in Hunza, Pakistan

An ibex in Hunza, Pakistan

Here’s where the story gets supernatural. His bullet missed the intended target but instead struck the bucket into which the fairy was milking the ibex. This infuriated the fairy who got even by turning the hunter blind. He remains blind to this day.

In order to confirm this belief, I asked my porters about it as we were hiking across the Batura Glacier. They confirmed that it was a local legend but said it’s just that, a legend, and that no one under sixty believes this stuff anymore.

When I think fairy, the first picture to come to mind is of course Tinkerbell. However, turning a man blind is dark stuff, so on the right I have an appropriately dark fairy, the sucker from the Pan's Labyrinth & Hellboy movies (they're not exactly the same but very similar)

When I think fairy, the first picture to come to mind is of course Tinkerbell. However, turning a man blind is dark stuff, so on the right I have an appropriately dark fairy, the sucker from the Pan’s Labyrinth & Hellboy movies (they’re not exactly the same but very similar)

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One Response to “Tales from the North: The Vengeful Fairy”

  1. From Nazli Rafat Jamal:

    All legends have some wisdom. My guess is that this came about to give the ibex a fair chance against the hunter. Obviously it’ll be harder to get it in the mountains than on the plain.

    Posted on October 22, 2013 at 10:53 am #

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