Fairy Witch
FI87 FairyWitch-Willingham
Real Name Unknown
Aliases The Fairy Witch, The Good Witch, Mother Birdie, Ardelia, Cherish, Bulah
Occupation Witch, member of the 13th Floor coven, leader of the 13th Floor Witches (formerly)
Status Alive
Place of Birth Homelands
Group Affiliation 13th Floor Witches; Fabletown (formerly)
Base of Operations Mobile; Farm (formerly); Fabletown (formerly)
Species Fairy (Fable)
Gender Female
Hair Grey
First Issue Fables 25
Original Source Thumbelina
The Fairy Witch, also known as Mother Birdie, is the former leader of the 13th Floor Witches. She is now senile, and it is implied that Frau Totenkinder was responsible for the Fairy Witch's current mental state.


Before Exodus

In the Homelands, the Great Fairy Witch lived a humble life in her cottage and would often help the people who came to her for magical assistance. One such person was the adoptive mother of Thumbelina , who desired a daughter even if she was tiny. The Fairy Witch complied and gave the woman the barely seed from which Thumbelina sprang from.

The Fairy Witch managed to escape from the Homelands during the Exodus.

After Exodus

Upon arriving in New Amsterdam, the Fairy Witch, now known as Mother Cherish, took charge of the growing coven of magic users, which would later become the 13th Floor , and helped with the creation of Fabletown , helping to weave the spells of non-detection and privacy. It was also Mother Cherish's idea to magically link large spaces like the Business Office and Bluebeard's castle to smaller ones through the use of door frames. When Thumbelina arrived in Smalltown and many were arguing and fighting over her affections, Mother Cherish told Bigby Wolf that she had left the jar of barely seeds at her old cottage, resulting in an adventure to the Homelands to retrieve them.

Sometime in the 20th century, fellow witch and member of the 13th Floor Frau Totenkinder made a small comment about her retiring and a well earned rest. Soon, Mother Cherish lost her grip on reality and began to babble nonsense, sitting away from the other witches and warlocks and quietly knitting. She soon stepped down as the leader of the 13th Floor and Totenkinder took over, taking her knitting equipment as well.

Now the Fairy Witch is barely a shadow of her former self. Often called Mother Birdie by her fellows, she sits away from the other members of the 13th Floor and babbles nonsense as she quietly knits, with no needles or yarn. Mother Birdie and her colleagues use their magic to supply the glamours needed for the non-human-looking Fables but charge such a steep price that many can't afford to purchase them.

When Mister Dark took up the attack against Fabletown in the 21st century, Mother Birdie's mental failings were a detriment to her colleagues. Upon awakening, Dark unravelled all of the spells used to create Fabletown, magic stolen from his magical artefacts, and the Woodland Building began to come apart. The doorways that Mother Birdie had magically linked became undone and trapped Bufkin , Frankenstein's Head and the Magic Mirror in the Business Office, along with the newly-released Baba Yaga and the D'Jinn. 

Mother Birdie continued to serve the 13th Floor even after Frau Totenkinder stepped down to confront the Dark Man personally. When Bigby Wolf was transformed into a glass staute by Prince Brandish and smashed into millions of pieces, Mother Birdie helped gather all of the shards of glass and piece him back together again, though this was futile as Bigby soon fell under the control of Leigh Douglas . When a feral Bigby proved a threat to Fabletown and brought down all of the protective enchantments the 13th Floor had worked so hard to create, Mother Birdie was the voice of reason and proved that she has rare moments of clarity. 

Powers and Abilities

  • Immortality: As a Fable, the Fairy Witch is effectively immortal with a lifespan going back several hundred years. Apparently the degree of a Fable's immortality is based on how popular that Fable is to the mundane humans; the more renown they are, the greater the extent of their immortality. Apparently being a fairy, she may innately have some degree of longevity separate from her being a Fable.
  • Magic: In her prime, the Great Fairy Witch was a powerful witch and knew many powerful spells and enchantments. She had a cottage full of powerful magical artefacts and was instrumental in the creation of Fabletown. She had the ability to link large spaces through doorways and her spells only collapsed centuries later thanks to the ministrations of Mister Dark himself. She also helped cover the many activities of the Fable community and peace together the ice statue of Bigby Wolf.

  • Knitting: Fairy Witch was an avid and experienced knitter, hardly ever seen without her needles and yarn. Even when she lost her mind, the Fairy Witch continued to practise the motions of knitting despite not having her equipment.

Fables Characters
Bigby and Snow's Family BigbySnowRoseSouthEastWestLakeConnerAmbroseWinterBlossomThereseGhostDarienNorthWinter
Business Office ColeCharmingMirrorFrankensteinGudrunBufkinBlue
Fabletown GrimbleJohnPinocchioJackRapunzelCrispinMuffetWebBriarThrushbeardEdmondHobbesKayBluebeard
Tourists MowgliFeathertopCinderella
Beauty and Beast's Family BeautyBlissBeast
Page Family HillaryPriscillaRobin
Jack of Fables JackBabeSamboElsaBrakDormousePecosPaulFrostTinGaryHumptyLuckCowardly LionMacDuffMother GooseMad HatterMarch HareRavenJohn
The Last Castle BearskinRedRed CrossFriarJohnMadagaoBornegascarHermanBritomartRobinBeaucaireTamPellinore
Crow Brothers VulcoJoelEphram
Mundies BethMossCharleneGildaRobertRodriguezGunterBernardGordonSarahMollyNedTommy
Three Little Pigs DunPoseyCarlColin
The Bears PapaMammaBooBoo II
Three Blind Mice LelandPrescottThaddeus
The Giants JohnnyDonnyLonny
The Farm StinkyReynardSunflowerNobleWalrusChicken LittleRabbitPussHareTortoiseCheshire CatDickoryGatorRed CapLouieBagheeraKaaClaraMoleBillYellow BirdWilfredPeteArrowPeterWolfWeylandToadShere KhanRexGoldilocksRobin
Knights of Malta Hospital SwineheartSpratt
Civil War NickDeathSally
The Wooden Soldiers LouDrewHughArloRandolph
Operation Chambermaid DuffyRonaldMichaelZilmerJoeyJohnJamesHarpWechsler
Kingdom of Haven FlycatcherRideGretelBrumpGrinderBobLancelot
13th Floor Mother BirdieMaddyProsperoGrandoursMorganSomeoneTotenkinderOzmaKadabra
Police Department JonesBishopTrevorHankBarry
The Empire LumiGeppettoRodneyJuneNome KingKamarandUmilKroakMudsnipeStrapfiddleBright DayDark NightRadiant SunBaba YagaHanselEmperorMuddlecockHinterfoxOrmBloomChernomorThrokOgren
Arabian Fables SinbadAladdinHakimAliYusuf
Shadow Fabletown AnansiSeven BrothersTugarin ZymeyevichDorothy GaleIvan DurakMeng Chiang-Nu
Mr. Dark's Forces BrandishDarkWitherlings
Agents of Hope HopeSantaMatch GirlBride
Miscellaneous Characters JackScarecrowMistralSquallWhiffPorky PineGingerbread ManDonSanchoApolloTukarOld WormIchabodMaidDunstar
Living characters appear in green. Dead characters appear in red and italics. Unknown characters appear in blue.