Main Changelingtale Discussion

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01:03:22 PM Dec 20th 2013
Pulled this example for attracting natter. Someone needs to transform this thread-mode conversation in a proper example (for the definition of proper example, see How to Write an Example). Alternatively, a short description of the folklore beliefs about changelings could be integrated in the trope description.
  • Older Than Print: The idea of fairies replacing healthy babies with (often sickly) "changelings" (either their own offspring or an enchanted piece of wood made to look like a baby) comes from traditional middle ages European folklore. Some historians believe that the myth appeared as an explanation for what would now be attributed to physical deformities (cleft palettes, birthmarks, six fingers, blindness, etc.), mental retardation (Down syndrome, Williams-Beuren syndrome), or behavioural disorders (ADHD, ADD, Kanner-syndrome, autism, etc.).
    • Folklore also lists ways to identify and "get rid" of a changeling: one of them involves taking the child and throwing it into a hearth fire or onto a hot oven... if it is indeed a changeling, the fairy will change into its true form and flee the house, never to be seen again. (Basically a socially acceptable excuse for poor mothers of disabled children to commit infanticide in medieval times.)
    • Occasionally however parents would be advised to treat their changeling kindly to make sure their own child was as well cared for by the Fairies. And at least one version of the classic 'Changeling' tale has the Fairy mother come to reclaim her child and help the human parents get their baby back.
04:20:27 PM May 21st 2012
Does abducting an adult and a changeling taking place of an adult count? because I think it is closer to the children version than mundane adult kidnapping preformed by fantastic beings
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