Monday, May 20, 2013

Fairies in Mines and Mountains

Fairies in Mines and Mountains


The intimate connection between mine fairies and the whole race of dwarfs is constantly met throughout the fairy mythology; and the connection of [30]the dwarfs with the mountains is equally universal. ‘God,’ says the preface to the Heldenbuch, ‘gave the dwarfs being, because the land and the mountains were altogether waste and uncultivated, and there was much store of silver and gold and precious stones and pearls still in the mountains.’ From the most ancient times, and in the oldest countries, down to our own time and the new world of America, the traditions are the same. The old Norse belief which made the dwarfs the current machinery of the northern Sagas is echoed in the Catskill Mountains with the rolling of the thunder among the crags where Hendrik Hudson’s dwarfs are playing ninepins.