Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't Let Me Pass

'Hold Me Fast. Don't Let Me Pass' - a short story by Alice Munro, Canadian writer of fabulous long short stories, addictive like old sofas you keep snuggling back into.

In the story, this old tough lady who runs a farm all by herself, sings an ancient Scottish ballad to her visitor Hazel. About this young man captured by fairies, who desperately wants to get back to being human. He meets a girl who grows to like him, but he is a prisoner of the fairies.

He tells her of the only way the fairies will set him free - someone who loves him must embrace him, and hold on to him tightly while the fairies keep changing him into horrible things one after the other. If she can hold on to him through all this without losing her faith or her love, until all their tricks are exhausted, then they will let him go.

And so the song goes - "Hold me fast, don't let me pass..."

And she does.

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