Faeries were said to steal human children and leave behind a changeling in it’s place. The faery child would have some sort of behavioral issue, physical abnormality or developmental issue. Parents who believe their child is a changeling might try any number of ways to get their child back including taking the suspected changeling to a field or forest and leaving it there in hopes the faeries will return their child or they might beat it with a switch or stick it in an oven! This folklore probably developed as a way to explain a child born with a congenital defect, illness, disability etc. Children born with something like Down’s syndrome or deafness or even a hairlip during this time period were ill-fated to be suspected of being Changelings. Today, we have more understanding and compassion in many ways, but if you look at the news, you’ll find that ‘fear of other’ and ‘fear of differences’ still exists and manifests itself in many hateful ways.