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industriously perform for mankind their daily work. People have often watched them,” continued the narrators, - but no one disturbs them ; they are left to come and go as they please.” This talk only excited the curiosity of the shepherd, and he longed to know why it was that the Dwarfs so carefully concealed their feet, and whether they were differently formed from those of men.
Accordingly, next year, when the summer came, and the time when the Dwarfs secretly pulled the cherries, and brought them to the barn, the shepherd took a sack full of ashes, and strewed them about under the cherry-tree. Next morning, at break of day, he hastened to the place: the tree was plucked completely empty, and he saw the marks of several
goose feet impressed on the ashes. The shepherd then laughed and jested at having discovered the Dwarfs' secret. But soon after the Dwarfs broke and laid waste their houses, and fled down deeper in the mountain to their splendid secret palace, that had long lain empty to receive them. Vexed with mankind, they never more granted them their aid; and the imprudent shepherd who had betrayed them became sickly, and continued so to the end of his life *.
* The same peasant of Belp who related the first legend was Mr. Wyss's authority for this one. 6. The vanishing of
THE DWARF IN SEARCH OF LODGING.
One night, during a tremendous storm of wind and rain, a Dwarf came travelling through a little village, and went from cottage to cottage, dripping with rain, knocking at the doors for admission. None, however, took pity on him, or would open
the door to receive him; on the contrary, the inhabitants even mocked at his distress. At the
end of the village there dwelt two honest poor people, a man and his wife. Tired and faint, the Dwarf crept on his staff up to their house, and tapped modestly three times at the little window. Immediately the old shepherd opened the door for him, and cheerfully offered
the Bergmänlein,” says Mr. Wyss, " appears to be a matter of importance to the popular faith. It is almost always ascribed to the fault of mankind sometimes to their wickedness.”
We may in these tales recognize the box of Pandora under a different form, but the ground is the same. Curiosity and wickedness are still the cause of superior beings withdrawing their favour from man.
“ I have never any where else,” says Mr. Wyss, “ heard of the goose-feet; but that all is not right with their feet is evident from the popular tradition giving long trailing mantles as the dress of the little people. Some will have it that their feet are regularly formed, but set on their legs the wrong way, so that the toes are behind and the heels before."
Heywood, in his Hierarchie of the Blessed Angele relates a story which would seem to refer to a sir
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him the little that the house afforded. The old
: now that I am rested, I will proceed on farther.” “God forbid !" cried the good woman; you surely don't think of going out in the night and in the storm? It were better for you to take a bed here, and set out in the daylight.” But the Dwarf shook his head, and with a smile replied, “ You little know what business I have to do this night on the top of the mountain. I have to provide for you too; and to-morrow you shall see that I am not ungrateful for the kindness you have shown to me.” So saying, the Dwarf departed, and the worthy old couple went to rest.
But at break of day they were awaked by storm and tempest: the lightnings flashed along the red sky, and torrents of water poured down the hills and through the valley. A huge rock now tumbled from the top of the mountain, and rolled down towards the village, carrying along with it, in its course, trees, stones, and earth. Men and cattle, every thing in the village that had breath in it, were buried beneath it.
The waves had now reached the cottage of the two old people, and in terror and dismay they stood out before their door. They then beheld approaching in the middle of the stream a large piece of rock, and on it jumping merrily the Dwarf, as if he was riding and steering it with a great trunk of a pine till he brought it before the house, where it stemmed the water and kept it from the cottage, so that both it and the good owners escaped. The Dwarf then swelled and grew higher and higher till he became a monstrous Giant, and vanished in the air, while the old people were praying to God and thanking him for their deliverance *.
This story is told of two places in the Highlands of Berning, of Ralligen, a little village on the lake of Thuner, where there formerly was a town called Roll; and again, of Schillingsdorf, a place in the valley of Grinderwald, formerly destroyed by a mountain slip.
The reader need scarcely be reminded of the story of Lot and of Baucis and Philemon. See also Grimm's Kinder und Hausmärchen, III. 153, for other parallels.