There are eight stories in The Wood and the Wildfolk:
- The Wood and the Wildfolk
- Melia, Guardian of the Wood
- Teresina, the Dragon
- Kelly, the Gremlin
- Silverspring, the Elf
- Idris, the Rainbow Sprite
- The Maple Tree Fairy
- Teresina and the Iron Mine
These stories introduce some of the wildfolk who inhabit the wide wild wood. Most of the stories have no particular inspiration and are just spinoffs from my imagination. Melia is, in Greek mythology, an ash tree nymph. It was fitting for a tree nymph to be the guardian of the wide wild wood.
I have a soft spot for Silverspring, who was born into a clan of stone carvers and who would prefer to be a wood carver. Eventually, she and her father reach a compromise, but I suspect, after the story’s ending, that Silverspring will be adopted into the wood carver clan.
According to Wikipedia, a gremlin is “a folkloric mischievous creature that causes malfunctions in aircraft or other machinery.” My gremlin, Kelly, comes from a family that lives in aviation hangers for small aircraft. Poor Kelly is afraid of heights, however, so his family sent him off to find a new home. Since lawnmower blades resemble propeller blades, Kelly decides that the tool shed in the Wide Wild Wood is just the place for him.
Kelly is named after the famous artist, Frank Kelly Freas. Kelly Freas was a well-known science fiction cover artist who designed the crew patch for Skylab 1. He pictured himself as a gremlin, and was the inspiration for my gremlin Kelly.