Luvz Fairies

Luvzbluez Poetry, Angels, Fairies, and Other Mystical Things

The Origin of The Huldre Folk:
The Hidden Children of Eve
Collected by Ok. K. Odegaard in
Gamal Tru og Gamal Skjik ifraa Valdres (1917)
Translated by Pat Shaw Iverson

The haug-folk? Yes--I dare say it was Our Lord who created them, too. Eve, Adam's wife, lived a long time and had an incredible number of children, even long after she was past the time when one has children, and at last she became downright ashamed at having so many. So it was, once, that Our Lord came by and looked in on Eve, and then he asked to see her children. She brought out a whole flock, but left some behind, because she thought it embarrassing to have so many now that she was getting to be so old. Our Lord understood this all right, and was a little hurt, and said to Eve: "If you're hiding children from me, then they'll be hidden from you!"

Then Eve could not see these children any longer. They were turned into haug-folk and mountain trolls, each and every one, and it is not often that anyone catches site of them, altought it does happen once in a while. Those who have "second sight" have the power; they can find out how they look, and how they're getting on. There is probably not such a big difference between them and us, because the same one has created them. But they are not Christians like we are.

The Origin of the Elves
Collected by Johannes Jonsson Lund (b. 1804)
From Jacqueline Simpson,
Icelandic Folktales and Legends (Berkeley, 1972)

According to Simpson, the incapability of the hidden people to engage in sexual intercourse is a theory of the clergy, and counter to normal Icelandic folklore.

Once, there was a traveller who lost his way and did not know where he was going. At last he came to a farm which he did not recognize at all; there he knocked, and a mateure woman came to the door and asked him in, which he accepted. All the funishings of this farm were excellent. The women led him into the main room, where two pretty young girls were sitting, but he saw no one else on the farm except for this woman and the two girls.

He was welcomed courteously, given food and drink, and later shown to a bed. The man asked if he might sleep with one of the girls, and was told that he could. They lay down together and the man wanted to turn towards her, but he could feel no body where the girl was. He caught hold of her, but there was nothing between his arms, though all the while she lay quietly beside him and he could see her perfectly well. So then he asks her the reason for this.

She says he need not be surprised at it, "for I am a spirit with no body," says she. "Long ago, when the Devil raised a revolt in Heaven, he and all who fought for him were driven into outer darkness. But those who were neither for him nor against him and would join neither army were driven down to Earth, and it was decreed that they should live in knolls, hills, and rocks, and they are called elves, or Hidden People. They cannot live with other people, only on their own. They can do both good and evil, and both in the highest degree. They have no bodies such as you humans have, yet they can show themselves to you when they wish. I am one of this band of fallen spirits, so it is not surprising that you cannot get pleaure from me."

The man had to rest content with that, and later he told the story of what had happened to him.

Origin of the Underground People in Amrum
J. G. Th. Grässe

The Lord Jesus came one day to a house where a woman lived who had five beautiful and five ugly children. She hid the five ugly children in the cellar. The Lord Jesus asked her where her other children were. The woman said: "I do not have any more children."

Then the Lord Jesus cursed the five ugly children, saying: "That which is beneath shall remain beneath, and that which above shall remain above!"

When the woman returned to the cellar, her five ugly children had disappeared. The underground people are their descendants.

Source: J. G. Th. Grässe, Sagenbuch des Preußischen Staats, vol. 1

(Glogau: Verlag von Carl Flemming, 1871), p. 1092.

This account (no. 1350, pp. 1091-1092) contains many additional beliefs about the underground people on the Island of Amrum in the North Sea.

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,

They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleaseure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As to dig one up in spite,
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!

~by William Allingham



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