ONE day when the birds were all together, one of them said, “I have been watching men, and I saw that they had a king. Let us too have a king.” “Why?” asked the...
Country and County: Germany
Once upon a time there was a poor servant girl who was diligent and neat. Every day she swept out the house and shook the sweepings onto a large pile outside the door. One morning just as she was beginning her work she found a letter on the pile of sweepings. She could not read, so she stood her broom in the corner and took the letter to her employers.
A woman who died at Neu-Bukow in 1841 at the age of 118 told that when she was a child underground people lived in a mountain near her home town. She herself and other children often saw them, but they always ran away from them. One night an underground man knocked at their door and asked the mother to go with him. His wife was in labor. He also asked to borrow a kettle.
Not long ago there lived in Frankenberg a midwife who could tell many amazing things about the elves, for once she had spent an entire eight days among them observing their deeds and ways.
Schalk Mountain (Schalksberg), between Ettenbüttel and Wilsche, near Gilde on the Aller River, is only a little mole hill today, but formerly it was a high and narrow mountain in which the dwarf people made their home.
A midwife in Westerhausen was sitting one evening at home when someone knocked on her window and shouted that she should come outside. She did so, and there stood a nix, who told her to follow him. They walked to the Beck [a deep pond near Westerhausen], and the nix took a rod and struck the water with it. The water separated, and with dry feet they walked to the bottom.
In The Science of Fairy Tales (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of a Swabian* story where a human midwife is called to aid an Earthman’s wife (a name given to this type of fairy) give birth.
Karl Bartsch gave the following Devil bridge story in his ‘Tales and legends and traditions of Mecklenburg’ (Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Meklenburg) published in 1879.
It is a sad fact that many legends across Europe are Anti-Semitic. The following legend is from Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s Deutsche Sagen (1816/1818).
Castle Wildenstein (Schloss Wildenstein) dates from the around the 16th century and has acquired a reputation for being haunted. According to John and Anne Spencer in The ‘Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits’, on 1st March 1953, Baroness von Lobenstein reported seeing an apparition of a young boy in a sailor suit stood in the kitchen.