The green children of Woolpit.
One day, out of the woods, two children walked into the English town of Woolpit. This was back in the 1200s, so children mysteriously appearing wasn’t as odd back then—due to, you know, parents having a much higher rate of death because of diseases and the whole living-in-the-1200s thing. But these two children were unique.
They spoke a single language that none of the English had heard before. They only ate raw beans. They wore strange clothes. Oh, and both of them were green. (Was that because of the beans?)
Someone took them in, with the boy dying while the girl survived because girls rule and boys die of illnesses far too often. The little girl learned English and told of her life underground, where ‘everything was green and it was always twilight’. Now, if you’ve never heard stories of fairies before, that’s about as good a description of them as any.
Yet another (and perhaps most likely) theory postulates that they were the children of Flemish immigrants who were persecuted and killed—possibly in the battle at Fornham in 1173. Fornham St. Martin was a nearby village, separated from Woolpit by a river and just a few miles from Bury St. Edmunds, where loud bells often chimed. It’s possible that the children had been orphaned, suffered a poor diet while lost and on their own, and eventually made their way to Woolpit from Fornham St. Martin by following the clanging bells.
The girl didn’t disappear. She grew up, got married, and lived her life, never seeing the place she had come from again.They say you can never go back home, but in her case it was very literal. There are a few different sources for this story—all from the time—and no explanation aside from, ‘maybe it was poison? and confusion?’ Look, we dunno. The kids were green, maybe the Hulk did it. It was the 1200s.
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