The Green Children of Woolpit
The BBC broadcast a fascinating programme on The Green Children of Woolpit today. If you missed it then try the listen again facility on the BBC Radio 4 website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio/bbc_radio_four
The Green Children reportedly appeared mysteriously in a field in the village of Woolpit in twelth century Suffolk and were presumed to be brother and sister. They spoke a strange language and had green skin and would only eat green beans. The boy only survived a short time but the girl is said to have adapted to other foods, lost the green colour of her skin and learnt English. She explained that they came from an underground world known as St Martin’s Land.
Thories abound on how the legend originated and whether it is based on fact. From lost orphaned children of Flemish settlers who managed to survive on wild food and became green through a form of anaemia to lost fairy children or aliens. It is also suggested that the legend is an echo of an ancient fairy tale and links with the idea of fertility and re-birth in much the same way that the green man may do.