THE BLACK DWARFS OF GRANITZ.
NOT far from the Ahlbeck lies a little mansion called Granitz, just under the great wood on the sea-coast called the wood of Granitz. In this little seat lived, not many years ago, a nobleman named Von Scheele. Toward the close of his life he sank into a state of melancholy, though hitherto a very cheerful and social man, and a great sports-man. People said that the old man took to his lonesome way of living from the loss of his three beautiful daughters, who were called the three fair-haired maidens, and who grew up here in the solitude of the woods, among the herds and the birds, and who had all three gone off in the same night and never returned. The old man took this greatly to heart, and withdrew himself from the world and all cheerful society. He had great intercourse with the little black people, and he was many a night out of the house, and no one knew where he had been; but when he came home in the gray of the morning, he would whisper his housekeeper, and say to her, "Ha, ha! I was at a grand table last night."
This old gentleman used to relate to his friends, and confirm it with many a stout trooper's and sportsman's oath, that the underground people swarmed among the fir-trees of Granitz, about the Ahlbeck, and along the whole shore. He used often, also, to show to those whom he took to walk there, a great number of little foot-prints, like those of very small children, in the sand, and he has suddenly called out to his companions, "Hush! Listen how they are, buzzing and whispering!"
Going once with some friends along the sea-shore, he all of a sudden stood still, as if in amazement, pointed to the sea, and cried out, "My soul! there they are again at full work, and there are several thousands of them employed about a few sunken casks of wine that they are rolling to the shore; oh! what a jovial carouse there will be to-night!" He then told his companions that he could see them both by day and by night, and that they did nothing to him; nay, they were his most particular friends, and one of them had once saved his house from being burnt by waking him in the night out of a profound sleep, when a firebrand, that had fallen out on the floor, was just on the point of setting fire to some wood and straw that lay there. He said that almost every day some of them were to be seen on the sea-shore, but that during high storms, when the sea was uncommonly rough, almost all of them were there looking after amber and shipwrecks, and for certain no ship ever went to pieces but they got the best part of the cargo, and hid it safe under the ground. And how grand a thing, he added, it is to live under the sand-hills with them, and bow beautiful their crystal palaces are, no one can have any conception who has not been there.