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FLASHBACK: 1947 Science has a sensible explanation for those circles of mushrooms that crop up overnight: They're the result of the underground mushroom fungus spreading out from the center to find nutrients in the soil. But aren't dancing fairies a more charming story? English folklore holds that when the fairies come out at night to dance, they rest on the mushrooms. What Mrs. Burt Wheeler of Evanston knew was that a little stand of mushrooms was spoiling the look of her lawn, and she asked her husband to get rid of them. He did, and a few days later, the fairies had their hoedown. The Wheelers speculated that the fairies picked their yard because they were of English descent themselves. Science, the spoilsport, would probably pin it on a nearby maple tree stump.