The Wild Fairies of Wunderberg Mountain, Grimm's Saga No. 50
Folks and farmers of Groedicher reported in 1753 that wild fairies of Wunderberg Mountain came down from the hills and visited young children, maids and lads alike. At first these wild fairies or Woods Wives of Wunderberg as they were called, offered the children pieces of bread when they grazed their cattle in the clearing near Glanegg.
Time and again the wild fairies visited this clearing in the meadow during the grain harvest. They came down from the hills early in the morning and in the evening when other people went home after work, these wives went out and entered Wunderberg without taking their evening meal.
Once it happened that a small chap sat on his horse next to Wunderberg Mountain and his horse was harnessed to the wagon his father was using for threshing the field. Once again the Wild Wives came down from the hill and wanted to carry the boy away using force.
But the father, who knew the secrets and habits of these mountain fairies, rushed toward the women without fear and took the child from them with the words: “What audacity! What cheek! To visit my field so many times and now you even want to take away my little boy! What do you intend to do with him?”
The fairies replied: “We will take better care of him and he will have it better with us! We will dote on the little fellow, nothing bad will befall him if he comes with us!” But the father would not let go of the child, and gripped him tightly in his hands. The wild women cried bitter tears but finally departed.
Once the wild women came out of the Wunderberg near the Grinding Mill or the Ball Mill, which was called Place of the Ball because it was close to the summit. They snatched a boy, who was grazing cattle in the meadow. This boy, whom everyone knew, was first seen again by woodcutters more than a year later. But now he was wearing a green shift and sat on a tree trunk. The next day his parents went out to find him, but it was all for naught. The child was never seen again.
It often happened that a wild fairy came out of the Wunderberg walking toward the village of Anif. This village lay one-half-hour away from Berg. Once there, the wild wife dug holes and storage caches in the mountain. She had extraordinarily long and beautiful hair, which almost touched her heels. A farmer from the village often saw this woman walking back and forth. He fell in love with her immediately, mainly because of her beautiful hair. He could not help himself from going to her, gazed upon her longingly with pleasure and finally, in his simple-mindedness, entered her little cave-hole without being shy at all. No one said anything or even mentioned how unseemly it was.
But the second night the wild fairy asked the farmer if he didn’t have a wife of his own. The farmer lied about his wife and said no. But his true wife was wondering where her husband spent the nights and slept. She therefore followed him and found him sleeping in the meadow beside the wild fairy. “May God save your beautiful hair!” the woman said to the wild fairy. “What are you doing here with each other?”
After saying these words the farmer’s wife left them, but the farmer was terrified. The wild fairy wife accused the man of unfaithfulness and said “If your wife had expressed hatred or anger toward me, you would now be unhappy and no longer able to depart from this spot. But because your wife wasn’t so angry, go home to her and love her and do not try again to come here. For it is written: “Each shall live faithfully with his wedded wife! Alas the power of these words has diminished over time along with the fortune of married couples! Now take this shoe full of gold, go home and never turn around again.”
More tales about wild faeries:
And about gnomes: