The Fairy Girl
Marishka walked and walked through the dark wood. The sun was almost set and she still hadn't found her way back to the path. She was starting to worry that the grinning weasel had given her the wrong directions. When the last of the sun slipped below the horizon, Marishka sat down on a log and began to cry. She could not find the path and she knew that any time now, dire wolves or Strangers would be here to gobble her up. She cried and her tears fell to the mossy ground. Then she rubbed her eyes and glanced up to see a light coming toward her. Marishka climbed over the log and crouched low, because she knew that you should always be wary of things in the woods. The light got closer and she saw a wolf walking beside a person. Oh no!, thought the girl, I am to be eaten by both a Stranger and a wolf! But it was not a Stranger who came to stand over her! And it was not a wolf that wagged its tail beside its mistress! Marishka looked up to see the heart face and straw hair of a girl carrying a lantern. The girl wore a dress white as snow and a cloak red as apples, and she smiled as she gazed forward with pale and cloudy eyes. "Are you lost?"
From "Little Marishka in the Deep Dark Wood", a Valaran fairy tale.
The Fairy Girl is an archetypal character found across literature. She is always described as young, with golden hair and clouded eyes, and usually wearing a red cloak. The eye detail is particularly identifying, as such blindness in a young girl is uncommon. Some see her as the counterpart of the Strangers; while they exist to lure you into the woods, she appears in stories to lead you out again. She represents humanity's hope and a belief in a light that can offer a lifeline in the darkness. Accordingly, stories featuring her become more popular in times of great stress or despair. The most striking feature of the girl, however, is that she is invariably seen with a dog. The presence of the dog is her defining trait that distinguishes her even if different cultures describe her in different clothing or with a different attitude. It's believed the legends began in the wake of the Second Reckoning, out of a sense of nostalgia for the lost dogs. There are those, of course, who insist that she is not a story character but a real girl. Stories crop up all over the world, since the time of the Second Reckoning, of people claiming to have seen the world's last domestic dog in the company of a young girl. There's no evidence to these stories... but if you're ever lost in the woods, believing in them might be your only hope.
Light blue, but clouded and nearly white