I don’t believe in magic, or fate, or fairies or lucky talismans. But here is a strange thing all the same. When I was 16 or 17ish, my aunt found a tiny little model of a pixie in my parent’s garden. I call it a pixie but I don’t really know if that’s accurate. Pixies are cute creatures with pointy ears.
This little statue was an ugly representation of some kind of squatting, mythical character made all the more unattractive by the partial loss of its cheap and nasty gold coloured plating. It was quite heavy, possibly made of lead, with no obvious maker’s mark. It had an eyelet on top of its head for putting on a chain and wearing around your neck, perhaps, although god knows why you would want to. The look on the pixie’s face wasn’t exactly sinister, it’s tricky to render sinister in lead but it wasn’t a cheerful, wish-granting, benevolent looking pixie either. We had no idea where it had come from – it was on the drive, I seem to remember, someone must have dropped it on the way to the house. So a slightly sinister, slightly creepy, 2-inch high pixie statue of unknown origin turns up in your garden, what do you do? You name him Dave and pop him on a shelf in the kitchen which is where he’s been for the past 20+ years. The End
But no! Not the end because shortly after we adopted Dave, we learned that there was another Dave (although probably not called Dave). In the newspaper (and I use the term loosely, for we are almost certainly talking about The Sun) there was a story about a woman who had found an identical pixie – I forget where she found it but it was somewhere unexpected – and believed that her pixie was lucky. Why did she think this? Because she had rubbed her pixie on a lottery ticket and then she had only gone and won the flipping lottery! I will temper this slightly by saying that she didn’t get all six numbers. It was more like 5 numbers and the bonus ball. Perhaps just 5 or 4 numbers. I forget now. But it was definitely more than a tenner.
Lovely reader, I think you can figure out what happened next. Lottery tickets were bought and imbued with whatever magical power was contained in our little statuette. Saturday night came and we watched the lottery draw with the unshakable knowledge that we were about to win an unspecified amount of money which was definitely more than a tenner. And did we win? No of course we didn’t, lucky pixies with magical powers don’t actually exist. Seriously.
So that was that. What a strange to do.
A couple of years later, I was working in a small shop, which I have written about before on this very blog. It was the kind of shop where we served people over the top of a high, glass counter. Like in Greggs (it wasn’t Greggs). It was Easter and we were very busy, with three or four people behind the counter serving a shop full of customers. After a particularly frantic swarm of customers had left the shop, I stopped to catch my breath. And noticed that there, on the glass counter right in front of me, was another identical pixie statue. I remember picking it up and asking the shop floor if anyone had left it there. Much shaking of heads. I assumed that it must be the same one from my parents’ house. Even though I had long since moved out, somehow it had found its way into my pocket then fallen onto the shop floor where someone had picked it up and placed it on the counter. Surely it wasn’t another mysteriously materialising ugly pixie?
I phoned my mum to check. Is Dave still there? (Dave who? said my mum. It had been a while.) My mum confirmed that she still had the original so despite being identical to the first, this was indeed a different pixie. I felt a bit weird. A year or so ago I found a Russian coin in the middle of the floor in my house and I felt much the same then. It’s safe to say that neither the coin nor the pixie were an apport and we don’t have a rogue Russian entering the house while everyone’s at work, just like I haven’t been sent magic pixies by the benevolent hand of fate. Although it does make you wonder.
I still have the pixie I found in the shop, he’s the one in the picture. We tied some curling ribbon through his eyelet and hung him up on the back of a door which is where he stayed until I left the job in the shop a year or so later1. He’s no oil painting. It also occurs to me now that he’s probably either a playing piece from a game or a piece of tourist tat from somewhere or other. I sent my mum a message to check that she still had hers and that I wasn’t misremembering, which I wasn’t. I also tried to find the story from the paper but with no joy. Coincidences are brilliant but I don’t really believe in woo. Except when I do. I’m going to buy a lottery ticket.
- Loads of weird stuff happened in that shop. As I go to great lengths to point out, I am a rational person who doesn’t believe in ghosts, or an afterlife, or telekinesis, or psychic powers or any other brand of woo. And neither should you. But I also love to talk about the times I have heard things, or seen things, or felt things which I am still unable to explain and which I can classify only as ‘weird’. Don’t judge me.