RICHARD Dawkins was last night remaining tight-lipped on the issue of fairies, insisting he ‘does not speak of such things’.
The leading atheist and evolutionary biologist refused to be drawn on the topic of little people that dance around toadstools at midnight and come to our world from a mysterious ‘other place’ known as ‘Annwn’.
When questioned at a recent book signing on the existence of fairies, he replied: “I’ll not say a word. Not to strangers, not even to my own kind.”
He then cast a furtive glance around the room and kissed a rabbit’s-foot he removed from his breast pocket before running from the room.
Friends claims Dawkins’ stance on fairies was shaped during a foggy winter evening, when, as an 11 year-old, he was sent by his mother to fetch water, but in his idleness fell asleep in what he later realised was a ‘dell’.
Fellow Oxford academic, Professor Martin Bishop, said: “Richard told me he was awoken by the sound of a flute playing a tune that was simultaneously soothing and evil.
“He opened his eyes to see standing before him a piper with horns and cloven hooves, around whom pranced tiny boys and girls in flowing pastel-coloured clothes.
“The piper said, ‘You are far from home, bonny lad, and it is late. You’d best come away with us to the magical land where sweeties grow on trees’.”
But Dawkins sensed the piper meant him harm, and ran home to his mother, not stopping to glance behind. Returning home without the water, he got the scolding of his life, which would have compounded his dismay had he not been so relieved at not being spirited away.
But evolution enthusiast Emma Bradford said: “Fairies or no fairies, I really want to like Dawkins because he irritates some very irritating people.
“However I can’t shake the feeling if you were ever in the position of serving him in a coffee shop, he could be very difficult.”