We of the Faerie Council of the Eighth Continent (if you don’t know which of the eleven continents of Earth is yours, that is YOUR problem, mortal) – would like to register a formal complaint against the slanderous allegation that we steal humans.
Several complaints, really.
To get the most distasteful out of the way: no, we do not steal human children. Our few joys in dealing with the loud, discourteous, foolish, short-lived, short-thinking idiots who have taken over most of a world which once was ours—they involve tricking you because you’re idiots who think you’re smart. (Or, very, very rarely, after what is, by short-lived standards, extremely long acquaintance, deciding that one of you is our friend and letting you live among us. This take, on average, some fifty years, and, as a hint, in the past two centuries, the only one who made the cut was that Tolkien fellow.)
Back to the idiot part—and with humans, it always comes back to the idiot part—yes, sometimes, we take utterly malicious revenge on humans by picking off your fools. This is not, in the strictest sense, completely vengeful; some of us feel that if we get enough of your nitwits out of the way, your average intellect might go up. (The rest of us are perfectly aware that we’d have to steal 75% of you for this to happen, and even if we had that kind of time to devote, all it would mean is that you’d overrun Faerieland as well as Earth, and that would be intolerable.)
A true fool must be given time and opportunity to develop, among other things, the possibility of becoming something else. By Faerie standards, foolishness comes, not from a lack of intellect, but from having an intellect which is unused or used poorly; it is for this reason that we are famed for the use of cleverness in our daily lives. When we act foolish, we do it for fun, or humor, or because we’ve made an actual mistake; and Faeries who are frequently foolish are not held in high esteem.) We therefore do not wish to trick anyone who is not of full-size.
(As for the idea that we do that ‘changeling’ thing and substitute one of our babies for your own—are you mad? There’s nothing one of our babies could do which would merit being condemned to live life with you people.)
But let’s get to the core of the problem.
Do you know who steals humans?
We live thousands of years. For you, you might have read about making someone an “unperson” in your fiction, and been surprised—or, more likely, being human, horrifyingly overjoyed—and thought it was simply a horror tactic, a warning, or an exaggeration of human social life.
Not at all.
“Unpersonning” has been happening throughout your history. Sometimes you called your outcasts “witches”, and as we find the entire subject fairly unspeakable, we won’t go into what you did. Sometimes you gave them the gentler labels of “nerds” and ignored them (why do you think we made Mr. Tolkien an Elf-Friend?)—until they happened to gain enough power that you began to give them respect.
We have enough power to make all of you disappear into the mists at the edges of Faerieland, and we’d really enjoy that. But we won’t.
We have 10,000 years of watching what that kind of thinking does to you. You don’t remember the Fall of Atlantis; consider yourselves lucky.
Much of your fiction, since the invention of nuclear weapons, consists of the contempt other sentients would have for a species willing to wipe itself out so easily. We won’t belabor the point; to be honest, when we get together and drink and talk about our encounters with you, your ability to destroy everyone and everything, which is fairly new, really pales in comparison with the fact that you keep wanting to do it, which has been pretty consistent for you for, basically, always.
We’d just like to point out: we are of the Seelie court. We have adversaries, whose motivations are so direct that they call themselves “the Unseelie”.
We’ve been arguing with them for 50,000 years.
We still think they’re sentient beings with whom we need to have logical discussions. And honestly, our discussions have changed a lot. We move slowly; in 10,000 years, we might finish finding common ground, and be at peace.
By that time, in our estimation, you will have been wiped out for over 9,000 years.
We really like some of you. But to be honest, we won’t miss you.