Water fairies are different from air, earth, and fire fairies. Living in a secret, fluid, constantly flowing environment has allowed them to develop many snares for humans. You see, they do not like us to enter their realm. Unlike the other fairies who have developed a dimensional shift within the other realms (earth, air, and fire) so that two “levels” can occupy the same place and the fairies can thereby stay hidden, the water fairies actually dwell within that realm alone without a dimensional shift. When a human enters their realm, it is as if a stranger had walked into your parlor in the evening and sat down unwelcome and unbidden. Foolish humans.
There was a story going around a century or so ago, if I recall, of a rather rude man who trampled unwelcome into a lily pond, intent on stealing all the lilies. His feet were cut by sharp and rough stones (or so he thought) as he entered the pond, but he continued on. He would tend them later, he told himself. The leeches were the next defense. (You didn’t really think they were “leeches,” did you?) Hundreds attached to his skin, though he remained unaware while he was in the water. He began to feel strange, though, as he collected the lilies. The water moccasins were next (not really snakes, you know). They wound around his arms and legs, biting and tearing at his skin. He might have torn them off, but his hands and arms were loaded with the lilies he had stolen and he refused to let them go.
At last he made it to the shore, disoriented and confused, bleeding and panting. He set down his lilies and decided to rest just for a bit, just for a bit. But his vision was so blurred and his mind so confused. He did not trust the image of the fairy woman who slowly rose from the pond and came toward him, a strange smile on her face. He thought he must be dreaming and closed his eyes. And those eyes never did open again. The water creatures and the water plants took what they needed to grow from the fertile ground he had created. Then all was smooth and clean and quiet again, the lilies restored and more vibrant than ever. Pink and lush and plump, they were. Silently, they all lounged, content for now. They knew another would eventually come.