Just when we think the local community couldn’t get any cooler, it does. The latest creative additions, called “Little Houses in the Forest,” are popping up throughout Garden Oaks and Oak Forest. These tiny homes, no taller than a foot in height, are the lodging of “magic fairies and garden gnomes” who are moving into the community at a steady clip, and delighting children and parents alike.
At the time of this writing, there are eight fairy residences scattered around the neighborhood, and a dedicated Facebook group to help visitors locate them.
The group, called “Little Houses in the Forest,” is a recent addition to the social media juggernaut, but in its first 12 days, the group gained 110 members. The fairy houses are listed by address on the page.
Oak Forest resident Pamela McHenry has a little house at the base of one of the trees in her front yard and is enjoying a parade of visitors. “Our fairies, named Fred and Ethel, moved in a week ago, but I bet 50 people have stopped by to visit,” she says. “It’s a joy to watch the look on the kids’ faces. You can see their imaginations at work. They ask questions such as, ‘May I knock on the door?’ I always say, ‘Sure, but they won’t answer because they only come out at night.’”
Entire families can be seen on walking tours or biking between the little houses. Sometimes handwritten notes or treasures such as seashells are left behind by the children as gifts for the fairies. At some little houses, the fairies leave treasures for visitors instead.
On St. Patrick’s Day, McHenry’s fairies left polished green stones for the children to take as lucky charms. On that same day, a little house occupied by two fairies named Sue and Barney and living in a tree trunk on Sue Barnett, left green and gold coins for their visitors.
The very first little fairy house was the creation of Oak Forest resident Johnny Rojas. (As wonderful an idea as it is, Rojas shuns any credit for it.) He is hosting two fairies in a tree trunk, fairies named Lebee and Arden, who proudly display a little, tiny Oak Forest logo and SEAL sign in their front yard.
The arrival of Rojas’ fairies spawned the addition of more.
What can visitors expect to see at these magic vignettes? Anything that might tickle a child’s imagination, and plenty of it.
A good example is the fairy house on Sue Barnett. Garden Oaks resident Sue Kostelecky shared recent additions to Sue and Barney’s house on the LHITF Facebook page.
“The front door was painted, the koi pond arrived, the mermaid Lagoon was added to celebrate our warmer weather, and a mailbox was added for incoming and outgoing mail. The adjacent Fairy Park gained some new fairy visitors and a couple of friendly trolls too,” she concluded.
Sometimes the Facebook group fields questions from parents who want to come by. “Recently, my three-year-old daughter discovered fairies,” wrote a concerned mother. “I had in mind to visit each house. Please advise a first-time fairy visitor what the proper etiquette is. We don’t want to break any magic spells!” she concluded.