This has to be one of the most uniquely odd interviews I have ever done here at Examiner. Reginald Bakeley's book "Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop And Other Practical Advice In Our Campaign Against The Fairy Kingdom" is a dark comedic gem. But at times you must wonder if it is indeed comedy at all. Reginald seems to really have a ferocious and serious appetite for destroying the denizens of the fairy kingdom! My words are simply not enough to explain it. So let us delve into this peculiar interview with Reginald himself to learn of his campaign against the fairy kingdom. You be the judge. Presenting.
JP: Why do you loathe the Fairy Kingdom so much, judging by the title of your book—Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop and Other Practical Advice in Our Campaign Against the Fairy Kingdom?
RB: It’s not really a question of my over-loathing the fairies so much as it is a question of why everyone else loathes them so little. The fairies are malicious, down to the last sprite. Each one is bent on making life miserable, whether it’s a goblin marauding through the chicken coop, a brownie clattering about in the cupboard, or a pixie or troll encountered in the wild. I say “No more.” And that’s why I’ve dedicated my life to fighting back.
JP: I mean most people have this positive view of faeries and gnomes and such. But I have heard stories of faerie abductions of human beings that some UFOlogists have tied to the alien abduction phenomenon. What exactly flipped your switch to start a campaign against the Fairy Kingdom? Was it a series of cursed events?
RB: For people who’ve never lived through a house brownie infestation before, perhaps some explanation is in order. Brownies are known historically for their nocturnal housekeeping habits, taking care of the laundry and dusting and setting out steaming bowls of porridge and perfect cups of tea just before dawn. It seems nice at first, but you mustn’t encourage them. It goes to the brownie’s head. The fairy works harder to please you, doing more and more housework and cooking until one morning you awake to find the bathtub filled with porridge. At that point things have obviously gone too far, but one disparaging remark from you will send the brownie into a rage and he’ll destroy your home. I can’t speak to the UFO connection, though. Alien abduction smacks of the preposterous.
JP: What are some ways to take out the fairies if need be? Are you suggesting killing them?
RB: It surprises people unfamiliar with wildlife conservation, but very few of my methods of fairy population management involve killing. Many times a keen relocation is what’s called for. The above-mentioned brownies are much too wily to be despatched by conventional means, and must instead be convinced to depart the household by methods I detail in my book. Similar tactics must be enacted with dwarfs, who are vengeful to the core and won’t stand by idly if their brethren are harmed. Every species has its weakness, and the wise person will find that weakness, exploit it, and emerge victorious. But I suppose I’m most famous for espousing the merits of roast gnome, and that, admittedly, does involve a bit of killing.
JP: When it comes to whacking gnomes, how would one go about that exactly? What do gnomes do to deserve it? And you say you like to cook them?
RB: Gnomes have been among the most successful self-promoters of the fairy kingdom and are nearly universally loved. What most people don’t realise, however, is the damage gnomes do to gardens, farmsteads, and trees. Their incessant burrowing weakens the soil such that walks out-of-doors are fraught with peril. It’s just too easy to put your foot right into one of their underground corridors, twisting an ankle or suffering some nasty splinters if you happen to crash through their miniature Arts and Crafts–movement style furniture. Beyond all this, though, gnomes taste delicious. There are spring and autumn seasons for gnoming, and in most counties the methods used for bagging gnomes are left to the preference of the individual huntsman. Some people like to shoot gnomes with crossbows, but I’ve always had more success with a rifle. A quick telephone call to one’s local government-run conservation office will tell you all you need to know about gnoming in your area. Full details on hunting and cooking are, naturally, provided in the “On Gnoming” chapter of Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop.
JP: How about the dwarf? What do they do to deserve such reckonings? Could you tell us a story, perhaps?
RB: The dwarf is perhaps the heartiest breed of fairy, and has a tragic history. At one time, the dwarfs were great allies to men, providing armies with swords, spears, and helmets of unparalleled craftsmanship, not to mention excellent draughts of akvavit. But as with all of artistry, it seems, the dwarf and his works have gone to seed in recent generations. You won’t find any dwarf capable of forging a Mjölnir or a Gungnir nowadays, and their spirits are undrinkable. These facts aren’t crimes against humanity in and of themselves, but where the listless dwarfs cross the line is in loitering about country estates and cropland in the form of great stones or tree-stumps, and these of course must be removed if rural life is to continue undisturbed. It’s not an easy proposition, as the dwarfs can be quite lively if they “wake up” whilst being moved. But I’d never dream of harming a dwarf. The species is highly clannish and unforgiving.
JP: I think I once saw some brownies, or some type of creature from the faerie realm, in the forests—these hooded beings standing around a black box of sorts. My cat pounced on them and they vanished. Then later I found the cat dead by the freeway. Any thoughts on this scenario?
RB: First off let me say I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. It’s always sad to say goodbye to a pet, and even harder if it’s unexpected. It sounds as though your cat may have run afoul of some sort of wood elf, although the black box aspect makes me think the beings may have been forest goblins or perhaps gremlins, who are fascinated by the technological contrivances of man. They’re an unpredictable lot, gremlins, and not above nasty tactics when dealing with those who cross them. Terrible creatures.
JP: What exactly is your fascination with chickens?
RB: Chickenry is perhaps the most rewarding pursuit anyone can undertake. It’s quite a practical and diverting little pastime, and one I’ve enjoyed for years. There is an endless variety of breeds, some are better for show, some for eggs. I honestly don’t know why everyone doesn’t have a few hens in their back garden.
JP: Goblins apparently love to eat chickens—with a side of biscuits, I presume. What can you tell us about the goblins and how to torment them?
RB: It’s not so much that goblins love to eat chickens, it’s just that goblins are prone to becoming trapped in chicken coops more often than one would expect. When that happens, all sorts of horrible consequences can result. The goblins may eat the chickens, yes, but the greater danger is that the goblins may begin impersonating chickens and laying changeling eggs. When that happens, it’s best not to torment the goblins but to persuade them to move along, perhaps to a rival’s farmstead. Although in all honesty I wouldn’t wish goblins or their changeling eggs on anyone.
JP: What are changeling eggs exactly and can you eat them?
RB: Changeling eggs are a little-known goblin phenomenon similar to the changeling babies commonly read about in fairy stories. Like changeling babies, these eggs are of goblin origin and quite dangerous. Some are filled with poison gas, or throw metal shavings into one’s eyes. Those eggs which don’t cause death or serious injury upon cracking will most certainly do so once consumed. The whole business with goblins and their eggs in chicken coops is one of the worst situations that can befall any unprepared farmer. Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop provides chickenry enthusiasts with everything they need to know.
JP: And as for elf-song? I would think that would be beautiful! Even though I found the elves in The Lord of the Rings to be a bit dainty for my tastes. How do you feel about elf-song?
RB: Elf-song is perhaps the most dangerous of all fairy phenomena one might encounter on an otherwise unmolested ramble through the countryside. If you’ve read Washington Irving’s story Rip Van Winkle then you know what sort of dreadful situation can arise from listening to elf-song. It sounds like pleasant bird singing, and that’s why it’s such a pernicious problem. I encourage everyone to take a wind-up alarm clock with them on day-hikes and set it for half an hour should they ever find themselves settling down to listen to a particularly melodious bit of birdsong.
JP: What is Reginald Bakeley up to next book-wise, and would you like to share any links or departing words as you travel to the wild blue yonder?
RB: Now that Goblinproofing is published, everyone will have a much easier time dealing with fairy intrusions into everyday life. What may be needed next, though, are specialized guidebooks for regions particularly beset by fairy activity. Cornwall comes to mind, as do the Scottish Highlands. I’m also open to partnerships with forward-thinking organisations such as the Ramblers Association, members of which have found my all-iron anti-pixie walking stick invaluable. And anyone with photographic evidence of goblin activity near their own chickens may submit it to me through www.goblinproofing.com. I encourage everyone to stay strong in their own campaign against the Fairy Kingdom. Our foe is formidable, but a little knowledge and a few household objects do go a long way in ensuring our victory. Godspeed.
Jeffery Pritchett is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.