In the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England is a story that has been told for hundreds of years. A story so unbelievable that not even the written accounts and the evidence of the story have been enough to convince everyone. It was in the 12th century that villagers discovered two young children near one of the wolf pits for which the village was named. The writer William of Newburgh recounts the story of the children after compiling information from numerous sources in the village in 1189. Ralph of Coggeshall was an abbot of a monastery 26 miles away and he also wrote of the strange appearance of the two children around 1220. Ralph’s account incorporates information from Sir Richard de Calne of Wykes who said he sheltered the children after they were found.
What has made the story of this brother and sister one that has been recalled and written about for hundreds of years is the appearance of the two children. Both of them had a strange green tint to their skin. Neither of them spoke any language that was recognized by the villagers and their clothing was unlike anything that had been seen before. The villagers had no idea where the children had come from or to whom they belonged so they took them to the home of Sir Richard de Calne of Wykes. There he tried to give the children food but they refused everything that they were offered. For days, there was nothing that anyone could convince the children to eat.
That was until someone brought in raw bean stalks. The children were eager for them and after being showed how to open the beans they rapidly consumed them. Raw beans were the only things that the children were willing to eat at first. Gradually the children began to try other foods and the more they ate these foods they began to lose their green hue. With no idea if the children had a home of their own, the villagers took in the children and provided for them. They gave the children normal clothes, started to teach them English and even had the children baptized.
However, the brother, who was the younger of the two children, grew sickly and died before he could ever reveal the truth about where he came from. The sister did survive and learned to speak English. Once she was able to communicate, the villagers eagerly asked where she came from and the story she told was even more amazing than her green hued skin.