This year’s Summer Child was found this morning in a field near the English village of Little Quipping.
Born on the evening of the Summer solstice from mud, birdsong and the last rays of sunlight the Summer Child takes the form of a fat, muddy baby. He or she must be carefully cared for until they eventually dissolve into their component parts, and this particular Summer Child has already been homed with a local resident. The quality of care received by the child reflects on the year to come, suggesting that the Northern hemisphere has a wild twelve months to come given the time taken to find this year’s Summer Child.
There is no known equivalent in the Southern hemisphere. Either the Summer Child phenomenon is unique to the North of our globe, perhaps due to some quirk of local elements, forces or history, or the Southern equivalent has simply never been found. Either way, the Southern hemisphere seems to do perfectly well as it is, while the North has to put some effort into searching each year or risk trouble.
The Summer Child is known as far back as written records go, with entries in the original, now destroyed, Archive of Unusual Events dating back to the Archive’s foundation. It is presumed to be younger than the human species however, given its appearance. One hypothesis suggests that the Summer Child forms whichever shape is most likely to be found and cared for, suggesting that beneath the “red in tooth and claw” nature of nature lies an aspect which would just like a hug. This hypothesis is almost universally despised.
Most would rate the Summer Child as harmless, and in person it is. Opinion is divided however as to whether the heart of the phenomenon is a promise that the future will be kind if looked after, or a threat that it will be bad if not.