Editor's Note: Today's guest post can be seen as a companion piece to a post about ABC's hit TV show Once Upon A Time, by Samantha Kymmell-Harvey and published in EC a few months ago. Together, they give us a great picture of what is appealing about the show.
With all that’s going on in ABC’s Once Upon a Time it’s so easy to overlook the tiny details that just might make difference in future episodes. Like Emma’s baby blanket. We see Granny stitching it in the pilot. Next, we see it draped across the back of a chair in Emma’s Boston apartment. Finally, she brings it with her when she moves in with Mary Margaret. Why would tough Sheriff Swan keep her baby blanket? “Because it’s all I have of my parents,” she tells Nicolas and Ava (Hansel and Gretel in Fairytale Land), with whom she feels a strong connection because they too have lost their mother and father.
|Gustave Dore (altered)|
In the highlands of Scotland, Dunvegan Castle proudly displays the Fairy Flag of the Clan McLeod. Legend has it that a handsome chief of the MacLeod clan fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the Fairy King. Despite her father’s warning that the human would grow old and die, the fairy princess insists on marrying him. So the King grants her permission to remain in the human world as Chief MacLeod’s wife for one year and one day. They are happily wed and soon a son is born to the couple.
But when a year and a day had passed, the Fairy Princess tearfully leaves her husband, warning him that the baby must not be allowed to cry, for she would hear it and it would pain her.
On Chief MacLeod’s birthday, there is a great celebration with a feast and music for dancing. When the baby finally falls asleep, his young caretaker sneaks out to enjoy the music. She does not hear the child begin to cry. But the Fairy Princess does, and she returns to her son’s crib, wraps him up in her fairy shawl, and lulls him to sleep with her magical words. In the morning, they find the baby sleeping peacefully, wrapped in a silk cloth of yellow and red elf-dots.
This shawl is the Fairy Flag. The princess tells her son that if the MacLeods find themselves in mortal danger, they need only to wave the flag and the Fairy Folk would come to their aid.
The Fairy Princess bequeaths this protective blanket to her child, just as Snow White wraps baby Emma in a blanket before sending her to the human world to protect her from the curse. Maybe her blanket is ordinary, but perhaps it possesses the love and protection of an Otherworldly mother separated from her child.
Samantha Kymmell-Harvey’s work can be found in Fantastique Unfettered, Underneath the Juniper Tree, and The Urbanite.
Check out her blog at samanthakymmell-harvey.blogspot.com