In the play version of Peter Pan, the title character asks his theater audience to clap if they believe in fairies to revive an ailing Tinker Bell poisoned by Capt. Hook.
Durango residents would probably applaud enthusiastically because there is plenty of evidence around the town that fairies are alive and well.
According to a very unscientific poll by The Durango Herald, there are at least eight fairy homes along East Third and East Fourth avenues, based on the appearance of miniature-sized doors, windows and decorations attached to neighborhood trees and garden stones.
Some apparently inhabit the trees of the most well-known addresses, such as the historic Jakway house at 11th Street and East Third Avenue, but judging by their furnishings and accessories, our little people seem to lead fairly ordinary lives.
They play basketball, if a tiny backboard on the sidewalk of Third Avenue can be believed.
They put out flags to show their patriotism. They decorate according to the holiday with Lilleputian-sized May Day poles, Easter eggs and scarecrows for Halloween.
Some pixies are thoughtful enough to leave notes in their mailboxes for their hosts visiting grandchildren, said Patti Baranowski, who said fairies inhabit her backyard garden.
The fairies will ask (the grandchildren) if theyre watching the garden, how long theyre staying, Baranowski said. The grandkids will send back messages like, Fairies, I hope youre happy. Can you come to my house, too?
Like any good local, the little people seem to know how to play to the tourists.
Barbara Edidin said she enjoys watching people react whenever they see her fairies lawn furniture, water well and tree door.
I enjoy it for myself, but its really fun to see people walk by and do a double take, said Edidin. People photograph it all the time.
Some people leave food, such as pistachio nuts. Two little boys once approached Edidin and asked her if they could contribute stones to the fairies landscape.
I was so delighted, Edidin said. They wanted to do something for the fairies.
But passers-by are not always so nice. They drop cigarette butts. A woman once reached across a fence to snatch a peace symbol because she considered it to be a Satanic symbol for resembling an upside down cross.
The whole thing was bizarre, Edidin said.
But everybody has their own concept of fairies. Edidin thinks her fairies are conventional little people who walk in and out of their tree door, but Baranowski is pretty sure her fairies can fly because her tree door is not at ground level.
Baranowskis garden fairies have a soccer ball to flatter a grandson who loves the sport. As a family activity, the Baranowskis painted a statuette of a kneeling pixie for the garden.
I dont think theres any age that doesnt enjoy a fairy garden, Baranowski said. Its joyful.
Leslie Morris, assistant manager of Cliffrose, Your High Desert Gardens in Cortez, said many women bring in their children for a play date whenever her store has decorating classes.
Morris considers the trend to be a revival of the 70s mystical thing because putting a miniature door at the base of a tree makes it more magical.
Edidin just enjoys playing with miniatures.
I consider it the dollhouse I never had, she said.