After reading ‘Cold Iron’, I wished I haven’t read it because there’s Puck of Pook’s Hill, which precedes Rewards and Fairies and which, therefore, should have been read first. On the other hand, had I not read this story, I wouldn’t have known now that I want to read these books. And, maybe, I wouldn’t have known precisely why.
I’m interested to see how much fairy-yarn Kipling wove into these stories. It seems he only sprinkled them, actually, and, if it’s the case, it’s for a good measure. Strangely, even though I find folklore (and myth) very appealing, I don’t read much of it. As if I’m always saving it for later.
‘Cold Iron’ has a particular resonance that makes it very easy to envision. I suppose the same could be said of Rewards and Fairies in general. I’ve read a comment somewhere, that these stories are meant to be heard. Consequently, I was reminded of the times grandmother used to tell us stories and fables – and rather odd ones, to say the least; with people cementing the cracked road with polenta, animals traveling hidden in a rooster’s behind, fox sharing bed and honey with a bear. It’s hilarious. Ridiculously so. What’s even more astonishing to me, now, is that we loved hearing them, especially the one with polenta. “Tell us again the one with polenta!”, was our constant plea… I am absolutely clueless as to why we found it so enchanting and entertaining. Maybe the reasons would come back to me if I’d heard it again.