A few years ago my mother gave me a nice knife set for Yule. Pretty much everything I have in my kitchen has been garage-saled, gifted or purchased in a moment of need (i.e. probably a cheap big box store buy). My dishes are serious older than I am. I keep thinking that as a 30 year old, I should probably go out and buy some new things, that its OK to let go that broken kitchen thing that is probably on its third, or even fourth owner, but…sometimes I just have a hard time letting go.
So with the things like the knife set, that have been gifted to me, I try to take extra care so that they last me a long time.
There are four knives in this set and I keep them in the nice box they came in. About a year after I first received the knives, one of them mysteriously disappeared. We looked everywhere for that knife! I have people over to my house fairly regularly for dinner and I checked with them…did you accidentally take one of my knives home? (We all have kitchenware at this point that goes back and forth between us, so what would one little knife be?) Nope. Nada. Zilch.
We were baffled. Where was the knife?
It wasn’t in drawers or cabinets. It hadn’t fallen behind anything. It wasn’t left in a dish. I checked high and low! It wasn’t in the living room, the studio or even the bathroom!
A few days ago, the SO did the dishes. I had used one of the other knives the night before in making lemon pepper chicken. He goes to the drawer and takes out the box to put the other knife back where it belongs, and…
Guess what had returned?
That’s right! The other knife! *cue the spooky music*
Suddenly, after nearly two years, I had a full knife set again.
Usually when I lose something, I ask the multiple spirits of my house very nicely to bring it back. I live with someone who is so fey it hurts, so usually turning to the fairies that live in the house is a good first bet. This is one of the easier little spells/exchanges that you can do to find lost things and it creates a good relationship with anything else mischievous that you might have in the house with you.
Take something pretty, like a marble or a small piece of jewelry and put it under a jar out in the open. Politely ask that if whoever knows where the thing (car keys, hair brush, knife…ect) that you’re looking for is or if it has been taken, to be returned. In exchange, offer them whatever you have left under the jar when it’s returned. When the thing you lost appears again, as it mostly will, take the thing out from under the jar and leave it in a corner. Don’t pay attention to it and leave the room. A fair exchange.
Usually this works.
But for the knife, nothing I tried did.
So how strange that the knife suddenly reappeared again after so long.
After being somewhat paranoid and running through all the various scenarios in my mind where a murderer snuck into my kitchen, stole the knife, used it to kill multiple people across state lines (quite the feat for a small paring knife) and then snuck it back into my house covered in the resultant DNA…
I took a deep breath and decided it must have been Gremlins.
Most of you hear Gremlins and probably think of that terrible 80’s movie, which gave me nightmares as a small child.
But in reality, Gremlins are small, mechanically minded creatures from English folklore. They like mechanical things and they like to take things apart and put them back together…though not always back together in a way that works. Ever hear the story of the cobbler and elves…very similar to Gremlins. Many people think that they were instrumental in helping people develop modern technology.
But they are also delightfully destructive.
From the US National Archives and Records Administration
Pilots in WWII were terrified of Gremlins getting in their planes and causing issues. In the midst of battle, Gremlins would gleefully help the destruction along. One famous female WWII pilot, Pauline Gower, even went so far as to refer to Scotland as “Gremlin Country” and there are multiple reports of other WWII pilots who saw them.
Listen to an Orson Welle’s radio program about Gremlins here: http://www.richlabonte.net/eps2/orsonradio/421221_Gremlins_64kb.mp3
Roald Dahl, famous author and also a serviceman in the British WWII air force, wrote a famous book about Gremlins after the war was over that became a big children’s hit.
Even Bugs Bunny encountered Gremlins!
There are multiple arguments over where Gremlins get their names, but my favorite is the explanation that it comes from an old English word that means “to vex.”
In this case, I was definitely vexed by the loss of my knife!
I still don’t know what they needed it for, but hopefully as a tool to do something fun (and you know, not stabby…).
I’m just super glad to to have my knife back! And in the future, I will remember to acknowledge and appease these unusual creatures that are often easily forgotten.
No airplanes were harmed in the writing of this blog…